One more through the picture...

One more through the picture...

As Xyrhanna, Unit and Marissa spoke, and Oloben checked out the path ahead, the flickering, crackling sound of the portal flared loud once more. Eyes whipping about, the group watched helplessly as the tarring Horgold was caught up in the magics of the portal and sucked through. As expected by this point, another creature was disgorged from the bulging picture, emerging into the room with a stumble.

The room that Erron found himself standing contained a floating picture much alike the strange one in the swamp, with the notable distinction that this picture rather than showing the insides of a dungeon, showed the swamp scene he had just left, complete with the none-to-distant, crumbling castle.

The cobblestone room you are in is lit brightly by a sunrod that lays upon the ground where Horgold had stood moments before, and contains a door to the east and west. The room tapers from over thirty feet wide at the north end, to a ten foot wide hallway to the south, which turns sharply to the east after but a short span.

An elf stands just through the western doorway, which stands open and reveals a hallway that turns to the north after ten feet or so. That elf wears the dark leather and forest greens, and his hair hangs in innumerous thin braids, a number of which have strange items tied into the very tips, a bead, a feather, a stud of metal, a claw, a tooth. These braids clink together lightly as the elf moves, but at the moment, he stands silent and unmoving, mouth set in a grim line, and arms raised to hold a great bow that stands almost a full six feet in length, an arrow knocked and pointed in Erron's direction.

Actions all?


Erron stumbled, mud-slick boots sliding on smooth stone where moments before they had been mired in the swamp. He was covered in mud up to the hip, and the expression on his face was shocked, to say the least. "By Ioun's Light!" he cursed aloud, in awe, straining to see every detail of the painting.

Realizing that the magical phenomenon he had been investigating on the way to the castle had transported him here took but a moment, and soon he had his bearings again- the elf was an odd creature, with a multitude of braids, but no odder than any other adventurer Erron had dealt with. Realizing that the elf was sizing him up as quickly as he, Erron raised mud-splashed hands, and said simple "Hold, friend," in the common tongue.

"I do not know where I am, but I was searching for adventure and treasure, and I can only assume you're doing the same," Erron gestures in the direction of the picture, still holding his gaze on the elf, waiting for that wrong move to give him warning to dive out of the way. "It may benefit us to work together, until such a time as we can part amicably."

Standing next to a red-skinned and tailed creature is something that reminds mostly of a metallic golem. However, some parts, most notably the joints, does not look metallic, defying the golem arch-type. It has no clothes in the ordinary sense, but is covered with a series of leather belts, with practically all surface space of them covered with fairly small items. Some of them can be recognized as sunrods, scroll-cases and various-sized boxes. A lot of them are vials of various sizes, all of them securely plumbed to avoid any risk of a leak. And then there are items which just doesn't seem to make much sense, except perhaps for the most technical-minded.

On his shoulder stands something which can most closely be described as a miniature eladrin. Her clothes might at some point have quite impressive. Now they are falling apart, with big holes, gaping holes here and there. She uses one hand to prevent them from falling even more apart and possibly down. It looks like she is surprised at the human's sudden appearance.

"Collecting data," a metallic voice booms from the golem creature. "Specimen seems to be armed with arcane energies. Origin not yet known. Most likely dangerous if provoked. Could lead the party into possibly deadly situations. Conclusion: Excellent specimen for arcane studies. Highly likely to provide useful data."

The miniature eladrin on its shoulder somehow manages to collect her jaw again. "What do you mean, you big jerk?" she complains to the golem. She looks like she's about to kick the head, but reconsiders before she can do any serious harm to herself. "Didn't you see what happened? The little guy just dissapeared!"

"Do not worry," the other creature responds immediately, with as much feeling as a bag of rocks. "New subject much more promising for research data. Removed subject considered insignificant."

"WHAT?" she yells at him. "Insignificant? Read my lips, metalhead: I - do - not - care about your research data. You see, this is why I hate you. Not even a trace of empathy."

The native Elf moves forward in a skittering halfstep motion that reminds of nothing more than a spider's crawl, eyes still on the newcomer, he slowly and carefully closes the door to the west that he had just come through. He then looks to Xyrhanna, the red-headed tiefling, and raises eyebrows questioningly. Although an arrow is loaded to the string of is massive bow, he has not drawn back on it.

Erron, hands still up, takes the discussion between the construct and pixie without saying anything. As the elf's eyes flicker to the tiefling, Erron slowly turns his head, hands still out in front of him, neck tense with the effort to listen for the bow draw that will signal all the Hells are about to break loose.

The constr-- Erron does a double-take. A warforged? He had heard of them, sure, but it was nothing more than legends- he didn't even know of anyone who had interacted with one. The pixie on its shoulder was a curiosity as well, but the tiefling woman seemed to be the leader of the group, so Erron made his focus there.

"Lady, I don't know you, and you don't know me, but I'd prefer not to get shot full of arrows, so if you're not interested in working together, at least let me clean my clothes and get out of here."

When she doesn't call for an attack, Erron carefully sets down his pack, using a wisp of magical energy in the form of a hand to carry a iron-bound sealed tome that he consults with briefly.

Taking a few things from his bag, Erron sprinkles
Fastidious ritual, basically a cleaning spell. I could have used Prestidigitation instead, but this seemed like as good an opportunity as any to do this
dust on his clothes and intones a few words, and the mud dissapears, leaving him clean as though he was laundered and bathed.

"Ritual successfully recorded," the warforged's metallic voice booms out.

"Will you shut up with your researchy stuff already?" the small pixie-like creature snaps back immediately. "You could, for example, greet him. You know, making him feel welcome like a human and not a rat you're experimenting on?"

"Affirmative. Starting humanoid social protocols."

The change is almost immediately. Suddenly, the warforged seems to lose most of its stiffness. It does not visually change appearance at all, only its demeanor. Still, the change is pretty drastic. With movements that could mimic any human, it walks over to Erron.

"Greetings to you, fellow arcane practitioner." Even its voice is different. Less metallic, with somehow. Even the tones sound fairly realistic, though still not enough to fool any alert listener.

"I am Unit 24671, although I will also respond to any other name you deem appropriate." It makes a deep bow, causing many of the vials to make slight sounds as the liquid bounces around. The miniature eladrin on his shoulder does not move from her spot, somehow standing still mid-air while Unit bows.

"Ah, that does remind me. I had almost forgotten to recharge my healing vials. Do excuse me for a moment," it says. There is something ... off with his speech. It sounds too cheerful to sound completely natural, considering it has known Erron for only seconds yet.

It crouches down, taking out several vials. With a very steady hand, it mixes the contents of several of them into two empty containers, causing a violent reaction for a moment. Then it seals both containers with the volatile liquids and returns them to two very well-worn pockets in one of his belts.

While the warforged works, the pixie-creature still hangs mid-air in front of Erron. She makes a curtsy, as elegant as she can without dropping her clothes or revealing anything unnecessary. "I am Marisa Soderin, Coure Attendant of the Fey Court," she introduces herself as. Unlike Unit, the small one sounds authentic or perhaps well trained in her actions, which means there is a hint of suspicion in her tone.

"I would appreciate knowing your name as well," she inquires.

"Lady, I don't know you, and you don't know me, but I'd prefer not to get shot full of arrows, so if you're not interested in working together, at least let me clean my clothes and get out of here."

The tiefling gets a somewhat uncertain look on her face before replying, "I suppose we could work together for a time..." she pauses, "Although we aren't exactly looking for adventure... It kind of found us..."

The thus far silent elf lowers his bow a tad, though he still looks wary. But he seems to trust the tieflings instincts when it comes to newcomers and sudden appearances. He glances at the miniature eladrin when she inquires after the newcomer's name, and turns interested eyes on the man.

Erron of House Targét, Human Wizard
Init +1 HP 26/26 Bloodied 13 Healing Surge 6 (0 used /7)
AC 18 Fort 14 Reflex 16 Will 15 Speed 6
Str 14 (+2) Con 12 (+1) Dex 10 (0) Int 18 (+4) Wis 13 (+1) Cha 11 (0)
At Will: Magic Missile
Magic Missile
At-Will * Arcane, Evocations, Force, Implement
Standard Action, Ranged Basic Attack
Range: 20
Target: One Creature

Effect: 2 + Int Mod (+4) Force Damage

Special: If the Implement used with this power has an enhancement bonus, add that bonus to damage. In addition, you can use this power as a ranged basic attack.
At Will: Magic Missile,
At Will: Thunderwave
At-Will * Arcane, Implement, Thunder
Standard Action
Range: Close Blast 3
Target: Each Creature in blast

Attack: Intelligence (+6) vs. Fortitude

Hit: 1d6 + Intelligence Modifier (+4) thunder damage, and you push the target a number of squares equal to your wisdom modifier (+1).
At Will: Thunderwave,
At Will: Scorching Burst
Scorching Burst
At-Will * Arcane, Fire, Implement
Standard Action
Range: Area Burst 1 within 10 squares

Target: Each creature in burst

Attack: Intelligence (+6) vs. Reflex

Hit: 1d6 + Intelligence modifier (+4) fire damage
At Will: Scorching Burst,
Second Wind
Second Wind
Encounter * Healing
Range: Personal

Effect: You spend a healing surge and regain 6 hit points. You gain a +2 bonus to all defenses until the start of your next turn.
Second Wind,
Burning Hands
Burning Hands
Encounter * Arcane, Evocation, Fire, Implement
Standard Action
Range: Close Blast 5
Target: Each creature in blast
Attack: Intelligence (+6) vs. Reflex

Hit: 2d6+Intelligence Modifier (+4) fire damage

Miss: Half Damage
Burning Hands,
Conduit of Ice
Conduit of Ice
Encounter * Arcane, Cold, Implement, Zone
Standard Action
Range: 10 squares
Target: One creature

Attack: Intelligence (+6) vs. Reflex

Hit: 2d8 + Intelligence Modifier (+4) cold damage, and you create a zone of sudden cold in a burst 2 centered on the target until the end of your next turn. The zone moves with the target. The zone is difficult terrain, and any enemy that ends its turn in the zone takes 5 cold damage.
Conduit of Ice,
Wizard's Fury
Wizard's Fury
Daily * Arcane, Force, Implement, Spellbook
Minor Action

Effect: Until the end of the encounter, as a minor action once per turn, you can cast Magic Missile.
Wizard's Fury,
Summon Fire Warrior
Summon Fire Warrior
Daily * Arcane, Fire, Implement, Summoning, Spellbook
Minor Action
Range: 10

Effect: You summon a Medium Fire Warrior in an unoccupied square within range. The fire warrior has a speed of Fly 6 (hover). It has a +2 bonus to AC (20) and a +2 bonus to Fortitude (16), Reflex (16), Will (15). You can give the fire warrior the following special commands;

Standard Action: Melee 1; targets one creature; Intelligence (+6) vs Refles; 1d8 + Intelligence Modifier (+4) fire damage.

Opportunity Attack: Melee 1; targets one creature; Intelligence (+6) vs. Reflex; 1d8 + Intelligence Modifier (+4) fire damage.
Summon Fire Warrior,
Catrip: Ghost Sound
Ghost Sound
At-Will * Arcane, Illusion, Cantrip
Standard Action
Range: 20

Target: One object or unoccupied square

Effect: You cause a sound as quiet as a whisper or as loud as a yelling or fighting creature to emanate from the target. You can produce nonvocal sounds, such as the ringing o a sword blow, jingling armor, or scraping stone. If you whisper, you can whisper quietly enough that only creatures adjacent to the target can hear your words.
Catrip: Ghost Sound,
Cantrip: Light
At-Will * Arcane, Cantrip
Minor Action
Range: 5
Target: One object or unoccupied square

Effect: The target sheds bright light until the end of the encounter, or until you use this power again. The light fills the target's space and all squares within 4 squares of it. Putting out the light is a free action.
Cantrip: Light,
Cantrip: Mage Hand
Mage Hand
At-Will, Arcane, Conjuration, Cantrip
Minor Action
Range: 5

Effect: You conjure a spectral, floating hand in an unoccupied square within range. The hand lasts until the endo f your next turn or ntil you use this power again. If you are holding an object when you use this power, the hand can move the object into a pack, a pouch, a sheath, or a similar container and simultaneously move any one object carried or worn anywhere on your body into your hand. While the hand persists, you can take the following actions:

Minor Action: the hand picks up or manipulated an object weighing 20 pounds or less. It can hold one object at a time.

Move action: the hand moves up to 5 squares in any direction, carrying the object it holds.

Free action: the hand drops the object it is holding

Sustain Minor: The hand persists until the end of your next turn.
Cantrip: Mage Hand,
Cantrip: Presdigitation
At-Will, Arcane, Cantrip
Standard Action
Range: 2

Effect: Ude this cantrip to accomplish one of the effect given below:
* chance the color of items in 1 cubic foot.
* create a harmless sensory effect, such as a shower of sparks, a puff of wind, faint music, or a strong odor.
* clean or soil items in 1 cubic foot
* instantly light (or snuff out), a candle, torch, or small campfire
* Chill, warm, or flavor up to 1 pound of nonliving material for up to 1 hour.
* Make a small mark or symbol appear on a surface for up to one hour.
* Produce out of nothingness a small item or image that exists until the end of your next turn.
* Make a small, handheld item invisible until the end of your next turn.

Special: You can have as many as three presdigitation effects active at one time. Nothing you create with this cantrip can deal damage, serve as a weapon or a tool, or hinder another creature's actions. This cantrip cannot duplicate the effect of any other power.
Cantrip: Presdigitation,
Utility: Mystical Debris
Mytical Debris
At-Will * Arcane, Utility Power, Spellbook
Minor Action
Range: 5

Effect: One square within range becomes difficult terrain until the end of the encounter. You can end this effect as a minor action.

Special: You cannot have more squares than your Intelligence modifier (+4) under this effect at one time.
Utility: Mystical Debris,
Utility: Expeditious Retreat
Expeditious Retreat
Daily * Arcane, Utility power, Spellbook
Move Action
Range: Personal

Effect: You shift up to twice your speed.
Utility: Expeditious Retreat,
Magic Item: Repulsion Leather Armor (+1)
Level 2, Leather Armor
Enhancement: +1 AC

Power (Daily): Minor Action
Whenever an enemy moves into an adjacent square, you cna push that enemy 1 square as an immediate reaction. This power lasts until the end of the encounter.
Magic Item: Repulsion Leather Armor (+1)

Erron watches the warforged perhaps too casually- the thing went from automaton to overly cheery in no time flat. If it were a person, he would say it was faking it. Since it as much said so itself, there wasn't much intuition involved.

With an elegant bow, Erron flourished an imaginary cape. "Mistress Soderin, Unit 24671, I am pleased to make your acquaintance. I am Erron, of House Targét," Erron pauses glad to see the elf with the massive bow relaxing.

"I apologize for my lack of decorum- this day has been upsetting to say the least," Erron sharply glances at the elf again, still afraid of getting an arrow in the back. The tiefling woman's
"I suppose we could work together for a time... Although we aren't exactly looking for adventure... It kind of found us..."
statement catches his ear, and Erron turns to regard her. "Where am I, if I might ask? I was originally searching the swamp for a fabled castle to extract treasure, but I have no idea where the portal brought me."

"Hobgoblin lair. City of Brindol, in the Elsir Vale" the female replies. "Where were you?" she asks, then suddenly remembers her manners, "My name is Xyrhanna Stolynn. My apology for not introducing myself sooner."


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