Escape From The Temple of Jing!
Rhys the Sphinx, Prince Among Kobolds
Half-Elven Sword Master
Barbarian 1 / Slayer 5 (Vanguard Archetype)
AC: 22 (Plate Mail +1, Dex +1, Ring of Protection +1)
Current HP: 55
Strength 21 ( +5 )
Dexterity 17 ( +3 )
Constitution 20 ( +5 )
Wisdom 10 ( -0 )
Intelligence 13 ( +1 )
Charisma 15 ( +2 )
Base Attack Bonus +6 / +1 ( +1 Barbarian / +5 Slayer )
Initiative +3 ( +3 Dex )
Combat Maneuver Defense 20 ( 10 / +3 BAB / +5 Strength / +3 Dexterity )
Combat Maneuver Bonus 7 ( +3 BAB / +5 Strength )
Sneak Attack: +1d6
|Regular||+6 BAB / +5 Str / +2 Enchantment||+13|
|Enraged||+6 BAB / +7 Str / +2 Enchantment||+15|
|Enraged Plus Bulls Strength||+6 BAB / +9 Str / +2 Enchantment||+17|
|Charging Enraged Bulls Strength||+6 BAB / +9 Str / +2 Enchantment / +2 Charge||+19|
|Charging Flanking Enraged Bulls Strength||+6 BAB / +9 Str / +2 Enchantment / +2 Charge / +2 Flank||+21|
|Charging Flanking Enraged Bulls Strength Studied Target||+6 BAB / +9 Str / +2 Enchantment / +2 Charge / +2 Flank / +2 Studied Target||+23|
|Regular||2d6 Greatsword / +7 Strength / +2 Enchantment||2d6+9|
|Enraged||2d6 Greatsword / +10 Strength / +2 Enchantment||2d6+12|
|Enraged Power Attack||2d6 Greatsword / +10 Strength / +2 Enchantment / +6 Power Attack||2d6+18|
|Enraged Bulls Strength Power Attack||2d6 Greatsword / +12 Strength / +2 Enchantment / +6 Power Attack||2d6+20|
|Enraged Bulls Strength Power Attack Sneak Attack||2d6 Greatsword / +12 Strength / +2 Enchantment / +6 Power Attack||3d6+20|
|Enraged Elemental Bulls Strength Power Attack Sneak Attack||2d6 Greatsword / +12 Strength / +2 Enchantment / +6 Power Attack||4d6+20|
|Enraged Elemental Bulls Strength Power Attack Sneak Attack Studied Target||2d6 Greatsword / +12 Strength / +2 Enchantment / +6 Power Attack / +2 Studied Target||4d6+22|
|Enraged Elemental Bulls Strength Power Attack Sneak Attack Studied Target Vital Strike||2d6 Greatsword / +2d6 Vital Strike / +12 Strength / +2 Enchantment / +6 Power Attack / +2 Studied Target||6d6+22|
Handle Animal 8
Sense Motive 5
Slime Wrangling 9
Skill Focus: Bluff
Slayer Talent (Rogue Talent – Combat Feat)
Slayer Talent (Rogue Talent – Combat Feat)
+2 Greatsword (Jing Item) Fook Youuuuu Jing (Bulls Strength 3x/week) (Addicted to my Blood) (Favored Enemy: Fey) (Identifies a magical aura perfectly but only once) (Elemental Flare: Charge weapon to deal extra 1d6 points of elemental damage, pick whatever element you want (command word: POWER AS MASSIVE AS JING’S COCK)(Forcecage 1x/day)
Elven Trail Rations (11)
Four Days Worth of Water
1789.83 Gold Pieces
A Small Pearl
A Primordial Ooze (In a box!) (Slimey_)
A partially-trained Amoeba (_Amoebachu)
Giant Blue Jewel (Polished glass)
Large Warhammer Wrapped in Silk Crackling In Power (+1 shocking burst “Mjollnir” once per day can hurl a lightning bolt)
A Tasteful Nude Statue (male) (goatse penis measuring statue)
Bracers of Releasing From a Magical Binding Once Per Day Or Turning a Move Action into a Double Move Also Once Per Day
Bag of Gription (No teeth)
2 Bottles of Fancy White Wine
5 Bottles of Fancy Red Wine
An Old Deck of Playing Cards
Girdle of Constitution (+2 Con)
Raiment of Korchek (+1 Plate Mail, can be re-powered to be even better)
Greatsword of Korchek (can be re-powered to be even better)
Winged Boots of Korchek (Two charges per day. Can use one charge to cross any surface without obstruction for an hour or two charges to levitate)
Kobold Washcloth of Nobility
Ring of Protection +1
2 Masterwork Crossbows
6 Drow Poison Bolts (DC 15)
Bracers of Spell Redirection
Tome of Understanding
Figurine of Wonderous Power: Bronze Griffon
Wand of Teeth (2d6 Damage, it’s a ranged touch and treats the enemy’s armor as 4 less than it is)
Green Egg of Dragon Power
Bag of Holding with 8000 GP In it
2/5 SP (Plus the power of GHOST TONGUES)
Soul of Null the Vaguely Menacing Spirit
The Soul of a Single Ant
Any Item Under 10000 Gold
Cooler of Potions
Parasol of Ultimate Safety
Giant Shadow Shuriken That Will Unerringly Hit Its Target
Golden Ticket that Summons Worm to “Take Care of Business”
“No man… shall slay the… daemon Nyxtaphor, except… the first to pass… the green-star d….o……o…….r,” whispered the seer Bal-Shannar, as he breathed his last, lying in his chamber deep within the White Tower of Hoeth. The ancient high elf had spent the past few days in a state of delirium and distress, thrashing about and moaning, his face covered with beads of sweat. He has foreseen the coming of a great demon of unrivaled power, written in the movement of the stars, the beating of raven wings and the birth of a black goat with eight heads. He would be called Nyxtaphor, and he would come to the Isle of Ulthuan in terrible wrath. He would slay the Phoenix King and snuff out the Sacred Flame, and scatter the high elves to the eight winds. In his last months, Bel-Shannar had scoured Ulthuan for answers, collecting ancient tomes of forbidden lore in a dozen cities and consulting with the oldest of lore masters and archmages. Finally he had ventured into a crumbling ruin at the northernmost tip of the Blighted Isle, the remains of a chaos shrine destroyed by Aenarion himself. There, it is whispered, he had struck a bargain powers best left undisturbed, for he returned in the clutches of a terrible illness, said to have come from the pustulent sores of Grandfather Nurgle himself. His body contorted with strange new growths and lesions, but he had found the knowledge he sought, murmuring the answer as he died in agony.
The Loremasters of Hoeth convened a council, and swiftly determined that the prophecy referred to the great doors of the Temple of Morai-Heg on the island of Albion, which opened only once every thousand years when the ill-omened green star known as the Eye of the Hag was in perfect alignment. The Loremaster Fahr consulted the astrological charts and saw that the alignment was coming in a matter of weeks. An expedition was planned including several of the legendary Swordmasters of Hoeth and two archmages. The Phoenix King himself selected master Lethandras, a warrior of unrivaled skill, wise temperament, and unblemished virtue, to be the one to step through the door and become the warrior prophesied to slay Nyxtaphor.
The expedition set out on their perilous journey at once. They slipped through the lines of the black ships of Naggrand. They bargained passage with the deformed mist giants, the Fimir. They fought back raids from the barbarian tribes of Abion, and at last they descended into the valley of Morai-Heg as the foul green star blazed overhead. Before them, they lay the massive gates of the temple, swinging open slowly. They had arrived just in time! They hurried down the winding path to the temple below.
But before they could step through the gates, they saw in the distance a figure emerged from the forest around the temple, striding towards the gates. They cried out, waving for the figure to stop, but the figure made no response, instead dashing through the temple doors. The expedition hastened down the path and across the valley, dashing through the temple gates after the mysterious figure, and it was there that they found Rhys. A teenaged boy of the barbarian tribe of Jurn, he had noticed the doors to the temple swinging open from a nearby hillside and had gone to investigate when he was spotted by the expedition. When he saw the mysterious elven strangers shouting and waving at him, he had fled inside the temple for shelter, unwittingly becoming the prophesied warrior as soon as he passed through the massive green-stone doors.
The archmages bound the boy in chains of rainbow light as the expedition debated what to do about this twist of fate. A Swordmaster of Hoeth tore his coat of elven chain mail and fell to his knees, weeping that Ulthuan was doomed. A lore master debated with an archmage as to whether a human could even qualify for the prophecy, for to high elves a human life passes so quickly that the elven word for human also means “mayfly.” In a rage, one of the expedition drew his blade to kill the boy, but before he could act there was a flash of light and his sword was sent clattering across the room! Lethandras had emerged from the corner where he had stood quietly, watching the arguments unfold, his rune-forged great sword drawn from its sheath. “This mayfly is the only savior we have,” he said, “So we’d best begin preparing him for what is to come.”
A fresh calumny erupted. Humans were not even allowed to step foot on the soil of Ulthuan, with very few exceptions over the centuries, and none had ever been trained in the ways of the Swordmasters of Hoeth. The archmages questioned whether it even could be done. Humans lack the coordination to managed the finely balanced White Tower great swords, to say nothing of the wisdom and serenity needed to master the blade dance of the sword master. But Lethandras held firm, and the expedition had no other options, so the other members were swayed, one by one and reluctantly. They took Rhys back to their ship and began the return journey to Ulthuan.
The boy’s name was Rhys, he told them, of the barbarian tribe of Khimara. And he was not human, but half-elven, the child of an elven father who departed before he was born and a human mother who died in childbirth. The loremasters were aghast at this. The thought of a high elf of Ulthuan laying with a mayfly shocked their refined sensibilities, although ancient legends and dark rumors seemed to suggest that such a thing could happen, if rarely. One took note of Rhys’ fine features and the hint of gold in his hair. Perhaps it was true. The boy had been raised by an old woman named Tethys who was both feared and respected among the Khimarans as a witch. The boy and his adopted grandmother were nominally a part of the tribe, but usually avoided. Every barbarian had seen the touch of chaos, whether in a two-headed serpent or a blighted tree or a strange creature lurking in the mists of Albion. They wanted little to do with the strange half-breed who had killed his mother upon entering the world. An ill omen, they said.
But the boy was not shunned either, for Tethys was known to hex those who displeased her. And besides, he had his uses. Rhys quickly began to display incredible speed and dexterity. He began going with the Khimarans on raids against other tribes. He could swing the great two-handed axes of the barbarian tribes with such ease that many warriors underestimated the speed and died in a mangled heap. Tethys taught him the lore of herbs, and of animals of the forest, and to read the future in cards and the casting of knuckle bones and the movement of the stars and planets. Over time, his courage and skill earned him a grudging respect among the Khimarans.
But beneath the surface lurked something darker. Rhys was prone to black rages when provoked, beyond all sense or reason. He tore down a stone house with his bare hands after someone called him a half-breed. He chased down and slaughtered a herd of deer after another another boy threw a stone and hit him in the head. Rhys’ fury made him an outcast among his tribe, and he was often mocked or ostracized. This came to a head when another boy called him a gatwr, which means “child of perverse intercourse” in the Khimaran tongue. Rhys chased the boy down and bashed his head against a tree so many times he trunk splintered and his face was unrecognizable. He died later that evening, making agonized whimpers and gurgles. After that, the Khimarans avoided Rhys, refusing to speak to him or interact with him in any way other than leaving a small bowl of food outside his doorstep each morning. When the elves captured Rhys and took him to their boats, he went willingly. There was nothing left for him in Albion.
Along the way, the elves discovered that Rhys was both more and less than they had expected. He was not human, but half-elven, the child of a human mother of the barbarian tribe of Jurn and an unknown high elven father. While some in the expedition were pleased that the boy was at least part elven, others were shocked at the idea of a high elf of Ulthuan coupling with a human, and considered him an abomination. They also discovered that Rhys already knew how to fight, having trained with axe and spear among the barbarians of Jurn since he was very young. But his fighting style was very different than that of the Swordmasters of Hoeth. For them, combat is an elegant dance, a sublime union of tranquil wisdom and centuries-honed physical prowess. Rhys fought with brute strength and feral cunning, his wild, unpredictable strikes fueled by a primal rage that was anathema to the elegant Swordmasters. But he was still very young, and they hoped that with time they could train these undesirable traits out of him and mold him into the promised warrior they so desperately needed.
When they arrived back at Ulthuan, they took him to the White Tower of Hoeth and to begin his training. It did not go smoothly. Rhys’ habits were deeply ingrained and it took years of work to smooth his savage blows into the fine, graceful movements of a sword master of Hoeth. But his rages made it difficult. He was prone to overreacting to even the smallest amount of pain, once breaking the arm of a young sword master-in-training who struck the back of his head with a wooden sword. The boy was so strong when enraged that it often took a dozen of the lean, graceful elven Warriors to restrain him. His rages regularly tore apart rooms in the White Tower, smashing elegant platters, reducing furniture that was hundreds of years old to splinters, and even shattering many of the lithe elven great swords.
Sword masters are also admonished by the scrolls of Hoeth to be chaste, to better focus their energies on their art. However Rhys’ trysts were legendary. He seemed to be constantly chasing after an elven maiden in some nearby village, and he was rumored to have dishonored several of the boys in his class at the White Tower. He was even caught sneaking out of the unicorn stables one night, although he said he was only “admiring their horns.” An ordinary student would be expelled for these behaviors, but the chosen one? The tower keepers’ hands were tied. They resorted to other punishments, such as chaining the boy to large trees for days at a time or making him inhale the smoke from a bonfire of caustic herbs. None had much effect.
Rhys also developed a fondness for gambling, frequently shooting dice late into the night with anyone who would wager with him. His luck was middling at best – he once lost all his clothes in a game of cards, and several times he lost his training sword in various wagers, causing his teachers much consternation. It became known that the surest way to get Rhys to do anything was to bet on it, for he could never resist wagering on his own skill (or lack thereof).
Despite all his difficulties, Rhys began to excel at his training the longer he kept at it. Lethandras saw something of himself in the boy and spent hours instructing him, guiding his hands and feet in the elegant steps of the blade dances of Hoeth. Rhys showed great aptitude for the blade, when he could keep himself from becoming distracted, and soon he was besting students who had trained far longer than he had in sparring matches, as well as some of his instructors. Lethandras even made Rhys his shield-squire, and the two fought together on the battlefield fending off dark elven raids several times. The tower keepers were relieved – at this rate, Rhys would be more than a match for even a Chaos daemon like Nyxtaphor. The isles of Ulthuan appeared to be in good hands after all,
But fate had a way of intervening, as it often does. One day Rhys slipped out of his chamber in the White Tower and made his way towards the distant primeval forest known as Motewood. Although his masters told him the forest was dangerous and forbidden to trainees, Rhys had wandered it’s twisting paths several times in the past and had made a habit of hunting the great elk who lived in the woods whenever he thought he could get away with it. A full moon shone down as he stalked the woods silently, short bow at the ready, when he sighted a beautiful hind standing in a clearing, bathed in silvery light. The creature was so stunning and perfect that Rhys didn’t even nock an arrow on his bow. He approached slowly, arm outstretched to touch the doe when it turned and dashed into the wood. Rhys gave chase, bounding after it down ancient game trails, hurtling over moonlit streams and under ancient fallen trees.
At last he came to a ruin of crumbling stone pillars deep in the woods. The elk maid trotted over to a funny little man, sitting on a fallen stone pillar next to an elaborate archway. He seemed to be waiting for someone. He was dressed in a neat little vest and trousers, with a bald head and braided beard and tiny spectacles on his bulbous nose, and wearing a pointed cap. He stood and stroked the doe’s back. “Looking for this?” He said to Rhys, who nodded. The man produced a silver coin from his pocket and held it up to Rhys, showing him both sides. One side bore an inscription of a sun, while to other was stamped with a waxing moon. “How about a wager,” he continued, palming the coin in on hand and then removing it from his vest pocket with the other like some sort of magician. “If the sun, it’s face does show, I’ll give you this precious doe. But if instead the moon is shown, you must come live in my home.”
Rhys came and stood before him, towering over the little man. He had no idea what the strange figure was talking about, but he had to have that deer, so he held out his hand. “Alright old man, you’ve got yourself a deal.” The man shook Rhys’ much larger hand with a knowing half-smile. “You won’t regret this. Or perhaps you will? Let’s find out!” He said before he flipped the coin high into the air. It spun and twirled, flying through the stone archway, which was now glowing with ancient runes. Rhys didn’t care about that – he had to see if he had won, so he rushed though the archway as the man’s cackling laughter rang out around him.
The coin lay on an intricately tiled stone floor. It had landed moon side up. Rhys picked it up, frowning. “Alright old man, you w—” He stopped mid-sentence. The forest, the deer, the archway and the strange old man were all gone. In their place was a strange intricate stone room, lit by torches, with passages extending out in all directions. Realizing the extent of his mistake, Rhys shook his head. “Oh fuck me…” He murmured under his breath. He didn’t know where he was, but he knew he would find his way home somehow, whatever it took. He was the chosen one, after all. They were all doomed without him. Better get started.
He set off down a random passageway, pocketing the strange coin. He didn’t feel bad about the bet – after all, what a story this would make for his friends back home. And if he found that strange old man again, he couldn’t wait to ask him for double or nothing. And thus began his quest to escape from the Temple