The spirit was upon them, walking down from the accursed shrine it had built for itself out of the detrittus of all the slain men and women who had failed to conquer it. It spread its six wings and beat them at the group, sending a foul current their way. They were swatted back, almost as easily as flies. This was its domain and the spirit knew it. It smiled coquettishly at them, caressing its spear-ended tail against its chest. “Your people seem to insist on becoming part of my decorations.”
Their hearts grew cold, their bodies being pounded against by an unseen windstorm of essence from the beast. They wished to lock eyes with the monster but could not. Their eyes averted themselves, as though their bodies were cowed though their souls were not. They had to find it in themselves, the strength to exist in this creature’s domain and overcome their fears, or they might end up just like all the ones who died at the monster’s feet before them.
“So, are you going to entertain me?”
Overcoming Primal Fear
Setup: This skill challenge is held within a combat encounter with an Elite or Solo Spirit monster of a level equal to or higher than that of the player characters. The characters are cowed by the Primal Fear during the encounter, and until they succeed in this Skill Challenge, they cannot make use of their Daily Attack Powers or Action Points. They can roll a check for this skill challenge as an action during their turn, listed in each skill. A character can only roll one such skill check per turn. Characters can aid each other’s checks in this skill challenge – at their own risk, for they are under attack and within a combat.
Level: This Skill Challenge adds XP to the encounter equal to that of 1 standard monster of the PC’s level.
Primary Skills: Religion, Arcana, Endurance
Religion (Moderate): Standard Action. At least one character each turn must make a Religion check to pit their faith against the might of the enemy Spirit. If at least one character does not, all characters lose a Healing Surge or Daily Attack Power (the Spirit’s choice) until the next Extended Rest, in addition to counting as a failure in the challenge. A normal failure does not carry this consequence. A Cleric can roll this check as a Minor Action instead. If a Paladin succeeds on this check, he or she can immediately make an attack with one of his or her at-will powers as a free action with combat advantage against the Spirit.
Arcana (Moderate): Minor Action. You focus your mind upon the magic at work, trying to find some way to pit your sheer will against it or to otherwise circumvent its ill effects. The first time an Arcane character succeeds on this check, he or she can gain a +2 bonus to attack rolls and damage rolls against the Spirit until the end of his or her next turn.
Endurance (Moderate): Minor Action. Through sheer physical prowess you subdue the fear and take full control of yourself, ready to fight anew for a time. The first time a Martial character succeeds on this check, he or she can make a Daily Attack Power during the turn in which he or she succeeded on the check. The first time a player fails this check, he or she loses a healing surge until the next extended rest.
Secondary Skills: Diplomacy, Athletics, Insight
Athletics (Easy): Move Action. You use your physical strength and through sheer doggedness pull off an impressive feat even in the midst of the primal fear. You can spend an action point during this turn. Athletics confers a partial success – it erases one failure, but does not add to the party’s successes.
Diplomacy (Easy): Minor Action. You rally your allies in this time of hopelessness and bring them some small measure of faith. The first time you succeed at this check, one ally of your choice can make a Daily Attack Power during his or her next turn. Diplomacy confers a partial success – it erases one failure, but does not add to the party’s successes.
Insight (Easy): Minor Action. You help one of your allies to regain composure and reassure him or her against the great fear. The first time you succeed at this check, one ally of your choice can spend an action point during his or her next turn. Insight confers a partial success – it erases one failure, but does not add to the party’s successes.
Enemy Skill: Religion
Religion (Moderate): Standard Action. The Spirit can bolster the fear, making an at-will attack against one of the players to drive home the point that it is indeed more powerful than they. If both the check and the attack are successful, the player has a -4 penalty to its next skill check. This can only be used a maximum of two times during the encounter.
Special: If the Spirit becomes bloodied during the Skill Challenge, the players gain one success from bloodying the Spirit.
Success: The players gain an action point and are returned the use of their Daily Attack Powers and Action Points.
Failure: The players do not have the use of their action points and daily attack powers during the course of the encounter. If they manage to bloody the Spirit, they can attempt the skill challenge again at Complexity 2.