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Session 130 - The One Who Knox

posted Aug 12, 2017, 8:54 PM by Will McCain   [ updated Aug 25, 2017, 10:19 AM by Paul H ]
Returning to Team Wizard, the Knox-led party found themselves in what initially appeared to be a barren room. Taking a cautious step forward, the ground disappeared beneath them and they fell a short distance into a circular room with several gaunt humanoids pressing themselves against the obsidian wall. In the center of the room was a stand with magical device. Looking upon it, Knox deduced that the item caused a fear effect in people, forcing them to flee as far as they could from it and find the nearest corner to cower in, much as many of his spells did. However, with no corners to be found upon the slick, black walls, the people in the room could do nothing but continuously shuffle against its edge. Doing so long without food had clearly led to their emaciated state. While the group puzzled over it, McGraenge was unfortunate to fall under its effect and backed into the wall, trying to find some purchase. They began tossing out ideas then, suggesting that perhaps erecting cloth barriers would could as corners for the spell and be enough to fulfill whatever bizarre conditions the puzzle required. It was then that, in examining the worn people moving along fearfully, Qip found his hand passing through one of them and saw through the illusion. The people, the item, even the walls and the fall through the floor had been fabricated. They didn't need to solve some cruel game. They simply had to break through the deception. Qip urged Knox to test it himself, and the wizard, too, saw the truth of things. Elistra followed suit, but McGraenge remained horrified at seeing his friends' hands pass idly through solid people. Working around the spell, they told him to try and create a corner by chipping into the obsidian wall. Obliging, he drew and dagger and chipped at it. The brittle material gave way easily, which was enough to dispel the elaborate ruse and summon their true test. 

Looking upon the creatures slowly appearing to face them, each member of the group felt a chill run down their spines as they beheld a khala and the dreaded jubjub bird. When battle began, they wasted no time. Since they recalled more about it, they decided to take out the khala first. McGraenge opened up with a volley of shots that left a number of gaping holes in its hide. Elistra followed up with a dashing sneak attack. Before Qip or Knox could add their own attacks, however, the dragon responded by laying several savage blows into Elistra and hit Knox with a freezing beam that encased the wizard in ice. For its part, the jubjub bird emitted a horrible shriek that stunned the party and stole their momentum. Knox was the only one to resist its effect, and saw the brave souls who had followed him now turned to prey.

Well that simply wouldn't stand.

Muffled by layers of magical ice, there was no way for the residents of the room to hear the words of power that froze time around them. Nor did they hear the other mystical chant that teleported Knox out of the ice to float freely once more in the air. He surveyed the scene briefly, for that was all that was needed. Correcting an earlier oversight, he summoned Mirror Images around himself. He then placed a barrier of fire carefully around the dragon to punish it for the umbrage of hurting one of his teammates. Finally, as he felt the flow of time begin to reassert itself, he readied a spell to dismiss the annoyance of the jubjub bird until conditions were more optimal. It barely had time to blink before it was transported away into an extradimensional Maze. It would only be gone for ten minutes, but that was more than enough to tidy things up.

Between the flames surrounding it and the renewed assault of the party, the khala quickly fell and disappeared. Knox handed out further magical enhancements while Qip tended to the injured Elistra. They all took their places around where the jubjub bird would reappear, flanked on either side by Qip as a Fire Elemental and Floofs, who were both now huge-sized. The dreaded fowl popped back into existence, but only lasted a matter of seconds under the withering assault of bullets, blade, flaming fists, and deadly magic. It, too, disappeared, and their way forward opened.

Knox smiled. All according to plan.
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