Oct 18, 2021 7:40 AM
drow harry dresden lands in tyria
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Haruk has certainly had better days.

This one started poorly. His cloak shifted off him in his sleep, and he woke up with a mild sunburn and a headache from the light in his eyes. The party's fighter, some forgettable dwarf, poked fun at him for being delicate, and Haruk threatened him with a boot up his ass. And then the camp was attacked by - some kind of demon? Probably? Haruk doesn't know enough about the planes to be sure. Anyway, before he could do much of anything it hit him with a Plane Shift, and he was abruptly in a sweltering tropical jungle.

Which is where he is now.

He'd have heatstroke, if he weren't dragon-blooded. As it is, he's just deeply annoyed.

He peels Bol off his shoulderblade and asks "Do you have any idea where we are?"

"Not a clue, Boss," the skull admits. "But hey! It's an adventure!" Then he merges back into Haruk's skin.

He doesn't know why he keeps Bol around, he really doesn't.

One of the nice things about his heritage is that, as of relatively recently, he can fly. So he unfurls his scarlet wings, and with a few powerful flaps, propels himself into the air. Maybe he can spot some civilization.

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Unfortunately for him, rather than civilisation, what he spots when he gets high enough is a thick thorny vine emerging from the thick foliage, pointy end approaching him at alarming speeds.

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That is a very alarming speed! That is a speed that is too fast for him to set the vine on fire immediately!

Fortunately, he's high-tier. This thing can't do much more damage to him than a few well-aimed arrows. If it grapples him, though, that'll be a nightmare.

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It seems smart enough to go for the wings, actually, and it is soon followed by two- no, five similar ones, including two with bases approximately twice as thick as Haruk... himself... is, and together they are in fact trying to grapple.

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Shit.

Haruk is good at concentrating on magic under pressure. Even so, being crushed by massive thorny tendrils is not the best time to be casting.

He activates the tattoo on his chest, instead. Suddenly, a shell of air between five and ten feet around him bursts into searing flame. Not flame like a wood fire - more like an incandescent nuclear furnace.

The flames evaporate after a few seconds, leaving only the scorching air behind. Before any more vines can materialize, Haruk folds his wings and drops like a stone.

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The vines around him instantly turn to dust, as expected, but this evil jungle seems to have no shortage of them as another four of them shoot up again. They do try to intercept him, but...

...this time they're stopped by something else. Something, or someone, seems to have cast some instant spell that materialised a sort of energy barrier around him except it had no will check involved at all and also now he is floating inside said energy barrier and unable to really... get out of it. An energy tether is linking said barrier to its unseen source beneath the canopy, and the vines that are trying to get to him seem completely unable to penetrate the energy barrier, or even shake it.

He is now being slowly levitated down towards the barrier's source.

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...that's... concerning.

Haruk is concerned.

Haruk will not currently express his concern, because it is probably better to be closer to the mysterious magic-user in case he has to stab them. He will float down towards them.

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The vines eventually give up and retreat into the evil jungle, and once he's below the canopy once more he can more properly see where the weird spell is coming from. There seems to be a square hole on the forest ground, just about large enough that two humans could jump into it at the same time and not hit each other, and its area is covered by a similar energy barrier to the one currently encasing him. It's dark enough inside, or the hole goes deep enough underground, that he can't actually see what the real actual genuine source of the spell is, only that it is something inside said hole.

He continues his inexorable path towards it.

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...he's going to try a Dispel Magic on the barrier once he's close enough to the ground.

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It flickers! For like a tenth of a second. Seems like rather than being a single sustained spell it is being... constantly renewed? Or something?

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Well, that's... bizarre. He could cast an antimagic field, if he had a scroll of antimagic field, and if it wouldn't be very inconvenient, and if he weren't already in the hole. As it is he'll just stay where he is.

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Once he's past the hole, an... illusion? of some sort? seems to materialise where the hole was, looking from this side like it's the underside of the first three inches of dirt of a regular nondescript patch of forest ground. There wasn't much light coming in through the hole anyway, what with the thick foliage, but now the only light sources are the energy barrier itself and wherever he's being dragged too farther down, and soon the barrier's light is not enough to illuminate the way above and the heavens are in darkness.

Just like home.

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Yeah, it's homey. His darkvision activates, and he grimaces at the monochrome. It's useful, but it always makes him think of living out his first seventy years in the dark.

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Once he's properly in the hole and all, his pace accelerates substantially, and he soon finds the end to the tunnel he's going down...

...opening to a fairly spacious cavern filled with the strangest contraptions. Various machines made of stone and metal occupy the space, all of them carved with veins that glow light blue or red. The source of his prison seems to be, itself, one such device: an object about three to four times as tall as he is, with a long pointy end from which the energy tether is coming.

And a small creature is seated atop it, wearing a helmet and seemingly piloting the machine and by extension Haruk's path. In fact, the place is crowded with those small creatures, most reminiscent of goblins but very very much not being goblins, themselves. Their heads are flatter and they have long floppy ears, but their skin colours hit much different ranges than those of goblins, too.

Many of them stop whatever they're doing (which mostly seems to be operating the machines, talking to each other, writing things down, or looking at various plant-like creatures floating in jars around the place) to gawk at him for a few seconds before getting back to their duties. Only the creature operating the machine and a couple of others who seem to carry the air of importance of "overseers" keep watching him.

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Well.

"Hi!" he says. He's smiling nonthreateningly. His words sound, to anyone listening, like their native language. "Thank you for saving me."

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The creatures... do not reply at all.

But they do react. One of the likely-overseers turns to the other and says, "Note it down, creature seems capable of speech and threat assessment." His descent continues, slow once again now that it's fiddlier, and he seems to be in the process of being sent to... a cage. Of some sort. Also covered by an energy field.

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"Oh, good. Love to be a creature," Haruk mutters. Louder, he says "I don't suppose you'd be interested in releasing me, now that you've saved me. Or at least refraining from vivisecting me."

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One of them snickers at the question but they don't deign to answer.

Caaaarefully lowered into the cage and then, plink, the energy field surrounding him is gone.

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"Are those plant-creatures other kidnapped sentients?" he wonders. "Or are they monsters you've created to unleash on an unsuspecting et cetera?"

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They still don't deign to answer! The one who was piloting the machine hops down from her (?) seat and then walks over to a device next to said cage, followed by the two higher-ups. Various lights start flashing in his direction and she reads something off some screen on the machine. "Signature most similar to humans," she says, "but the creature seems much older. Unknown magic all over its body and possessions, doesn't fit any of the five known facets."

    "Fascinating," says the one who was told to write stuff down as he writes more stuff down.

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Fine.

A few mystic passes, a few untranslatable words. Detect Thoughts. Are the plants people.

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...uh...

......mu?

The plants themselves don't seem to be individuals in the traditional sense, but they seem to have a loose connection to each other and to - something else. Something that is very definitely a person, and who is very definitely watching everything that is going on in this cave with interest through the plant-creatures' eyes.

And minds.

Something that is now paying close attention to Haruk in particular.

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Good! Cool! Great! Love that!

It is suddenly significantly more important that Haruk get the fuck out of here. "I'm gonna ask you guys one more time to let me go before this gets really ugly," he says rapidly.

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"It was just using some of its foreign magic," the technician says. "Sorry I didn't detect it earlier, it was such a weird... These readings are very strange."

    "Hey, uh, did your new specimen do something?" a technician elsewhere in the room asks, furrowing their eyebrows at readings from one of the plant-creatures. "This one got all agitated now."

        "This one did, too," says a third technician.

"Permission to knock this one out," Haruk's personal attendant asks of the two higher-ups.

            They talk to each other for a rushed couple of seconds then the more senior one says, "Permission granted."

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He's not confident enough in his read on the area he landed in for a Teleport. He's not confident enough in his estimate of his current depth beneath the forest floor for a Dimension Door. This is unfortunate.

For the little gremlin-people, at least.

Quickened Glitterdust. Invisibility.

With a word and a quick gesture, the cluster of gremlin-people outside Haruk's cage are abruptly covered in glowing sand. It gets everywhere, but especially their eyes. Closing them doesn't help; the light source is inside of their eyelids. They're horribly, agonizingly blinded. At least, for the next minute.

With another few words and gestures, Haruk becomes invisible.

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They start screaming.

And whatever intelligence is behind the plant-creatures seems to decide this is a great time to act, and the creatures start beating against points of the stone structure of their cages that seem to be, from the way they start bending and denting, weak spots. Clearly they were only being kept there because they wanted to be.

"Terminate the subject!" the main guy says. "Terminate the subject! Abort the experiment!"

Various of the gremlin-people rush to comply, but the plant-creatures are getting free of their own cages very quickly.

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