View Full Version : The Necromancer's Pact VIII: The Rising Tide
2007-03-15, 10:02 PM
One by one, each of you makes your way down the shaft, either by rope, or by spider climb.
Soon each of you finds yourself chest-deep in water. The water is chilly, but not ice-cold. The shorter members of the party either cling to the larger members or sit on their shoulders. The cool damp air is a relief after the scorching heat up above.
The dancing lights cast rippling patterns upon the low arched ceiling of this ancient cistern. A gentle current nudges you toward the east as the blind albino fish nibble gently and curiously at your legs.
The cistern is low-ceilinged, but quite wide and even with darkvision or the assistance of the dancing lights the sides of the cistern are hidden in shadow.
Tiriel remains at the surface, holding the rope, her feet planted firmly at the shaft's edge. Occasionally her wings twitch open, providing counterbalance. She looks around, her eyes watering from the smoke, to see if anyone is left.
She turns around and spots Callos kneeling beside Elthan, rummaging through his pockets.
"What are you doing?" demands Tiriel when she sees the necromancer pouring a vial of clear liquid down Elthan's throat. The half-elf coughs and his eyes flutter open.
OOC: Continued from The Necromancer's Pact VII: The Lake of Tears II. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15563)
2007-03-15, 10:19 PM
A warm smile came to his face, through the coughing and smoke-induced tears, as he saw Elthan come around and his eyes flutter open. Good, he was still alive then.
"C'mon and get up then boy. I'm not going to carry you all the way to safety." He grunted, pulling the half elf up to his feet and leading him to the edge of the cistern. Barely even sparing a glance over at Tiriel as he searched around for the rope that'd lead down into the darkness below. "Ensuring our survival Tiriel and if you'd like to do the same then help me get him down the rope to the bottom of the well. I think we've used up all the time in this place."
Pointedly ignoring any glares that might be coming at him from the angel woman, Callos waited for the probably very sore and very much in pain sorcerer to start clambering down the rope before gesturing for Tiriel to do so as well. Taking one last moment to look around the hall before bulling out his mirror and holding it tightly between clenched teeth and grasping the rope himself and beginning to descend himself.
2007-03-15, 11:09 PM
The chill of the water seeps out a lot of the lizardman's strength and he finds himself shivering in the water.
"Hurry", he yells and he looks up to see Callos and Elthan descend.
He frowns seeing that Elthan is awake.
"They healed Tonguess", he hisses those to those around him.
Stamping his feet to drive out the cold, he decides he needs to keep moving to keep warm.
He rumbles before drawing a deep breath and submerging.
If there are fish here, there might be beasts that eat the fish..
He circles the group underwater, scaring some fish away and swims in the direction he feels the water flowing.
Swim: 5 +7-3=9,13 +7-3=17,9+7-3=13
He's trying to find an exit from the chamber.
2007-03-15, 11:22 PM
Tiriel scowls at Callos and glares at Elthan. She'd like to shout at both of them, but she decides to save her breath and wait until she's out of the smoke saturated air. As soon as Elthan is within a few feet of the bottom, Tiriel drops the rope. She turns and grabs her pack and then jumps down the hole, her wings spreading open (as far as they can), slowing her fall.
Once down at the bottom, Tiriel answers Callos.
"Fine, but his hands stay tied until we get some answers. Katrine, you're better at this then I, you tie him up."
2007-03-15, 11:35 PM
Upon entering the water, Aeroz could feel the chill creep onto his chainmail while the armor simultaneously weighed him down. Trying to adjust his body so that he would remain more buoyant and looking up to see if Callos or Tiriel had dropped yet.
"Hurry up! Scaley has gone under for some reason and it is really, really uncomfortable. And cold. And staying here is not at the top of my list of things to do."
The padding under Aeroz's chainmail begins to cause an irritation on his shoulders.
2007-03-16, 12:36 AM
Callos has to rummage a second potion to rouse Elthan. As if waking from only a nap, Elthan looks curiously around upon awakening at a pace much slower than one realizing he is in a burning building. Not sure in the slightest degree where he was now, he moves silently as directed towards the opening and down the rope.
Almost at the bottom, a the sudden drop from a few feet into the cold water fully sets his mind out of its torpor. The building around him that had been burning was the town commons, or something like that. He was on the upper floors, and was knocked across his jaw...
Instinctively, as he stands himself up in the cold water, he begins to examine his chin to see if it was still in the right place. Before much of anything could be confirmed, however, a large splash from Callos hitting the water tosses him off his feet.
After recovering to his own feet a second time, he helps Callos up then turns to retrieve the dropped rope. Though still sunk mostly within the water, he hands what he can grab to Katrine. His newly misaligned jaw makes it hard to tell any expression, but his voice signals resignation.
"Whatever you decide upon."
OOC: Well, You did say you dropped the rope once Elthan reached the bottom, and Callos went after Elthan...
CLW potion (1d8+1=5) (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=921325)
CLW potion (1d8+1=2) (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=921328)
Without his light jacket or scarf, Khazrael's wiry frame is much easier to deliniate. He is now clad in only a sleveless linen shirt, dyed a faded black, and some plain black wool pants in addition to his wide belt and heavy boots. His silver bangles hang heavy around slender wrists.
While the rest of the group attempts to orient themselves, he occupies himself with washing copious amounts of blood from his hands and face, stopping occasionally to cast sidelong glances into the surrounding cavern.
Punch-drunk from heavy bloodloss, he weakly laughs as he sees Elthan stand up out of the water.
Should have taken your chances topside. The orc's gonna tear you a new one.
2007-03-16, 01:44 AM
Elthan doesn't get the luxury of an orderly binding. Fueled by frustration over, Lumpy finds a ready outlet in the recently revived sorcerer. With an entirely too feral roar, the half-orc is upon the mage within seconds of his landing. Snatching him by the shoulders in a manner that suggests he'd slam him into a wall if there was one available, Lumpy merely digs his mailed fingers in and holds him there,
"Someone give me a good reason why we need him conscious right now." He fixes his sight on Callos to forestall any commentry from the necromancer, "Not you. You're about five seconds from joining him."
2007-03-16, 02:13 AM
Ssathiya, Lizardman Druid
Ssathiya surfaces, hot air steaming out his nostrils. The others might hear his splashing as he deliberately smack his tail on the water.
He hears a yell and he pauses to tread water and look back. His nictating mebranes slide away. The others seemed clustered around the hole and he hears Lumpy threaten the wizards.
Noting that nothing demanded his return he continues swimming away with his head above water.
2007-03-16, 07:22 AM
"We shouldn't hurt him until we know why he killed Evendur, the information could be useful. I'll tie his hands behind his back, and someone should take away the pouch of things he uses to cast spells. Then he's pretty much helpless, and we can make him explain."
Katrin uses the end of the rope to tie Evendur's hands together tightly behind his back. Then she unties her rope from Fizahn's and offers the other end to Lumpy--to hold the rope, he would have to let go of Elthan. She gives Fizahn's rope back to him.
Yix takes this time to scout ahead, trying to find out where the current will take everyone.
2007-03-16, 11:41 AM
"Hold on a minute! We don't have the time to talk about this and discover his reasons! Nor do we have the time for him to stumble around in the dark with his hands behind his back and even more so if we need to swim ourselves. I didn't wake him up so he could be interrogated or so he can drown, I did it so we could get his help which we need! Look, I'll personally watch him myself until we're in the clear and if he starts doing anything funny, which I'll know if he does, then I'll kill him myself without mercy or hesitation." Callos practically growled out from between even as the others moved to bind, or even worse, knock Elthan out once more. Didn't these people know whats going on here? They were seeing the threat of death and were arguing against getting more help! He had at least thought Lumpy would have been above this but apparently not now. And he definitly wasn't going to take threats from the half-orc when he had done nothing wrong either!
"Hell, I'll even stand right next to Lumpy while I'm watching him just to make sure Elthan doesn't try anything. Does that sound fair enough? If not then by all means tell me some other way we can make a valuable ally useless for when the mob of skeletons come crashing down the well shaft. Or maybe for when the flaming demon horses and their riders do which, I might add, IS A DISTINCT POSSIBILITY WHILE WE SIT HERE TRYING TO PLAY JUDGE!" The last part he yelled, to draw their attention to the perilous situation they were in. "For the time being though, leave him untied and lets get the hell out of here. When we have some time I'll pry open his mind and find out why he did it or under whos compulsion but that will have to be later, right now whither you want to admit it or not we need him awake and able. Me? I want to live." Finally looking as if he had run out of anger, he pushed past the others to were the floating head of the druid was though he made sure to keep a reasonable distance. That was the druid...right? "Please druid, tell me theres a way out of here. We need a way out."
Even though he was hoping for a good answer he wasn't going to lose any preparation time he might have either. Mystical words came from his lips easy and smoothly as he brought about the spell. Glowing blue energy encompassed his right hand even as his brain wracked through various other methods and solutions.
((OOC: Casting Chill Touch and holding the charge.))
2007-03-16, 12:31 PM
Ack, too deep, too deep! are Lissa's first coherent thoughts upon hitting the water. She does the only prudent thing- climb aboard a taller person. In this case, the closest tallfolk is Adalmar. She grins sheepishly down at him from her new perch on his shoulders. "Sorry, Adalmar, but I can't swim and it's a bit deep for the likes of me. I'll climb aboard somebody else if you'd rather." Even wringing wet, though, Lissa and all her gear weigh about as much as a well-loaded backpack.
When Elthan makes his appearance, Lissa just smiles coldly and produces a hidden dagger in a twinkling of steel. "Well well, if it isn't the traitor. Still alive... good. I've got some interesting plans." The smile turns into a full-fledged demented gnome grin. The kind usually seen on mad alchemists or insane wizards right before the "MUAHAHAHA!" and unveiling of latest deranged experiment.
Some apples just don't fall very far from the tree.
"Okay, I've got the rope and the crossbow bolt... can't do the flaming oil trick 'cause of the water, pity that... has anyone got fishing tackle? For later."
2007-03-16, 01:25 PM
"Callos, I didn't think you needed reminding, but obviously you do. Elthan killed a valuable ally in cold blood. He's staying tied up for now. The water's not deep and there are too many of use who don't trust him. If the water gets deeper we'll do something else - So shut up and get going.
She noticing his prepared spell, "And don't think you're exempt from being tied up. I'm not going to waste anymore time arguing with you."
2007-03-16, 02:14 PM
Achkby, Halfling Sorcerer
Achkby is shocked. First at being submerged, then by the cold, and finally by Elthan's arrival.
He's alive? What happened? Why shouldn't he be conscious? Wait, what? He killed Evendur?
Achkby stands in dumb shock for a moment, and then blurts out, "He killed Evendur?!"
In his disattention, the floating orbs have slowly glided back to hover over him as he perches on Aeroz's back.
Khazrael sighs, uncomfortable with getting too involved in the discussion of Elthan's fate, and wades out into the fringes of the light, peering into the dark to try and find some sort of path. His eye catches the little dragon zipping around and his haggard voice calls to it.
"Have you found anything? It'd be great if we could get moving before those two idiots come down the hole looking for us."
2007-03-16, 06:27 PM
His head whipped about sharply with an incredlous expression on his face at the insinuation that he'd be tied up as well. "You've got to be joking! This spell is for our pursuers you dense woman! You think I'd risk my life fighting the lot of you for someone who may or may not be guilty?" Shaking his head in disbelief at the very idea as he turns back to the druid.
He is not sure how he came to serve as a mount for Lissa - before he could voice his objections, her falsely candid smile made him give in.
"What I'd like to know is : did he voluntarily commit murder or was he possessed ?"
"Because if he is responsible, there is no way I will let him walk unfettered by our side !" By the end of the sentence, he is shouting, and his neck is turning red.
But he is clearly not accustomed to having such outbursts : he then blushes a deep red and turns his head away.
In a steadier voice : "Watching him won't do much good if he is mage, no ?"
2007-03-17, 08:25 PM
Slowly, the party wades towards the east, arguing about what to do with Elthan. Lissa looks like she is about to rip the half-elf's ears off with her bare hands. Some of her rage seems to rub off on Adalmar as well.
Khazrael pushes forward ahead of the party, washing the blood from his neck and chest. He has abandoned his cold weather gear, which the rest of you find waterlogged, heavy and cumbersome. He calls ahead to Yix, who flashes the party an eidetic image of a tunnel at the far end of the cistern. A chain is stretched across the opening at water level, and four small boats bob there, pushed against the chain by the gentle current.
(For those of you without darkvision, the ghostly gray-green image is a novelty.)
Behind you, in the darkness, there is a muffled, distorted whoomp, and a flurry of sparks tumbles down the vertical shaft before being snuffed out at the water's surface ...
He sloshes ahead through the water, attempting to reach the chain and inspect the watercraft.
"Boats? What the hell? Are they in working shape?"
2007-03-17, 11:30 PM
The chain is thick and its links are mineral encrusted. The boats are a motley group of small flat-bottomed rowboats. Three have oars lying within them.
Achkby sends the dancing lights carooming around the chamber. The lights reveal that this cistern is at least 100 ft x 300 ft, running east west. At no point is the ceiling greater than 6 feet above the water level however. A few thick pillars are scattered about at apparently random intervals. Like the ceiling and walls, the pillars appear to have been carved from stone. Also at irregular intervals are dark openings, presumably carrying water to this room from various directions.
Adalmar suspects that this chamber was once a natural cave that was enlarged to serve as a reservoir. Apparently its existence had been forgotten long ago by the villagers living in Kront.
The boats do not appear to be tethered in any way. Perhaps they floated here from elsewhere?
2007-03-18, 01:40 AM
As the party crowds into the tunnel and examines the boats, he brings up the rear and waits until they all manage to get into the boats.
2007-03-18, 09:20 AM
Achkby, Halfling Sorcerer
Achkby tries to suppress his shivering on Aeroz's back, but his frigidity is quite evident.
"Boats? Thank the Gods! Are they in working order?"
2007-03-18, 01:29 PM
The necromancer stood there for a long moment and stared at the boats. An uneasy feeling of dread was just starting to come over him as he did too. And he had absolutely no idea why either. There was a safe escape, right there! Not a single thing keeping them from their safe getaway and now he couldn't bring himself to even approach.
"I don't like this...I see boats but no people or tethers. Where did these boats float here from and where are their owners?" He said flatly, taking a precautionary step back away from the edge of the cistern.
Yix calmly glides down and lands in one of the boats, thankful for the brief rest from flying around.
2007-03-18, 03:07 PM
Lissa shrugs from her perch atop the obliging Adalmar's shoulders, giving Elthan another evil glare before turning her attention back to the rest of the party. "Maybe the boats escaped from their owners upstream, floated down here, and caught on the chain. Used to see little boats washed up like that all the time in Selgaunt... handy when you need a boat and don't feel like paying for one. Or when you don't have time to haggle." Like, say, when the city watch is hot on your heels. She glances nervously back the way they came, fingering her dagger. "Whatever, we should get out of here. I don't like that noise we just heard."
Without speaking, he climbs into a boat and slumps forward, falling into an exhausted stupor.
2007-03-18, 05:36 PM
Tiriel follows those who take the lead, making sure that she's behind Elthan during their walk through the passageway. Her thick clothing soon becomes waterlogged and heavy, nothing she can't handle but it's an unpleasant experience that she'd have rather avoided. She keeps her wings closed tight but they too soon become chilled and soaked and it's more than once that she considers whether they made the right choice going below instead of choosing to fight.
Upon reaching the boats Tiriel feels both uneasy and relieved. Here at last is a place where they might be able to find some rest, but Callos' words echo her unease at their apparent "luck."
"In another time and place I'd take the time to wonder where these boats came from, but we don't have the luxury of time. We all need rest, those most wounded or unable to walk should use the boats to get some rest while we figure out where to go next..."
[ooc: is there room enough for everyone in the boats, or only a few at a time?]
2007-03-18, 10:37 PM
Almost everyone clambers into a boat, shivering. Only the lizardman, Callos and Elthan remain in the water.
Each boat holds four human-sized party members, with room for an extra gnome or halfling here and there. The boats groan against the thick chain as they settle deeper into the water.
Lumpy, Thokk, Aeroz, and Fizahn sit in one boat. Lissa, Adalmar, Khazrael, and Achkby sit in another, with Yix perched on its prow. Trinark, Tiriel and Katrin find themselves in a third boat, the drow cleric looking almost pleased to be back underground again.
OOC: Hope I didn't forget anyone ...
2007-03-18, 11:50 PM
Elthan relaxes a slight bit once everyone had made up their mind to leave him be for the moment. Why shouldn't they? He had no weapons, his magic did little in the way of actually injuring others, and he himself was not in the best of shapes at the moment. However, he did still avoid the harsh, and often almost malevolent gazes some of the party gave him.
I swear upon all of the gods, if I did not know that gnome, I would be convinced that she was under some form of possession.
Upon observing that there are only three usable boats, he steps towards the one in which Tiriel, Trinark and Katrin sit. "This one should be able to seat one more, shouldn't it? Callos, please take. Just let me set my coat down in it first."
"That noise was most likely the roof falling down. It means we can't go back now..."
He has goosebumps all over, and being underground doesn't make him feel any better. Gripping an oar, he begins to propel the boat forward as soon as the halfling sends his Dancing Lights to light the way.
2007-03-19, 12:10 PM
A pained expression came to his face when Elthan told him to take the one seat left and he groaned. "Yeah, I'm REALLY going to let you have a chance to die of the cold or to escape without getting my answers first. Get in the damn boat or I'll put you out and shove you in. I'll take the fourth one."
And with that said, Callos approached the fourth boat and clambered up into it. Shivering some from the cold, he looked about then took out his length of rope. How else could he get this boat to move...well there were a couple of options. One was tying the rope to another boat and have that one pull his own. The other was to tie it to the druid and let him pull the boat, if he was willing. The last was to have the druid in his boat and using his tail of the side as a means of propulsion.
2007-03-19, 01:09 PM
Against her better judgment Tiriel helps Elthan into the boat. Everyone is cold and tried, not to mention angry and confused and she can't bring herself to deny the man a dry perch.
"Do we want to chance resting or keep moving?"
2007-03-19, 05:08 PM
Trinark sits sereanly in the boat. It was as though a great weight had been lifted from his sholders. The familiar mustyness of damp cave greeted him like an old friend. And he could see, oh he could see! No more squinting under that impossibly bright sun, no more hiding beneath blankets to escape it's blinding glare. He might not be home but it was close enough.
Trinark makes room for the wizard clambering inside. He watches him with sad eyes. What could cause someone to kill an inocent person like the paladin? Dark magic? In a way he hoped that was the case, he hoped that it was under a compulsion, but if it was then what if the compulsion surfaced again? One could only hope that it could be removed.
On the other hand what if it had been off his own volition? Trinark could not imagine Elthan doing such a horrable deed. He had seemed such a nice quiet person. The answers would come in time, in time the answers would come. In the mean time Trinark would offer him the small comfort that no one else seemed to want to other than Callos, the benefit of the doubt.
"Come, sit by me."
2007-03-19, 06:35 PM
The dwarf enjoys his newfound powers of climbing, and seems happy to be under the tunnels again. Eventually, however, his mood reverts to his normal self, and the damp does not help him
"Ach, I suggest we let the caster types rest themselves. They aint a whole lot o use without being able to do that, and some of us dont need the rest to be effective. Restin on the boats seems to be our best bet, and we are also rather protected. Lets just keep floatin along and gather our wits"
2007-03-19, 07:06 PM
Katrin looks nervously at the darkness behind her. The sparks from the collapsed building remind her of the nightmares, who had started the fire in the first place, and a surprise attack by the nightmares was the last thing she wanted, although she had no idea how they could get through the shaft.
"I'd let the boats float with the current and rest in shifts."
2007-03-20, 05:22 PM
"Putting some distance between us and this place is a good idea. Presumably, the vampires have no clue this escape route is here, however, they could be searching the ruins to make sure that everyone is dead. They could come across the doorway at any point, so if they do, I would prefer not to be here to greet them."
2007-03-20, 08:36 PM
"We can't stay here. Won't be long till the blood suckers find the hole, even if the building collasped on it, and I don't even know if this will keep them from following us. Though if it did, then this'd be the best spot to make a stand against the remaining skeletons. Wouldn't stop the demon horses though. This situation is just like that big black oozey thing we found in the Underdark, we keep moving and pray we lose it."
Callos managed to stammer out from his lonely craft as the cold began to set into his bones. Shivering and holding his wet clothes tightly around himself even as he cursed the lack of fire spells. Even if he had to set something on fire, that'd still be a good expenditure of arcane energy to keep him warm. Cause right now, yeah he wasn't looking his best. Pale and shivering with eyes sunk back into his head, dark rings underneath of his eyes and teeth chattering...he wasn't going to win Most Intimidating or Impressive Mage of the year award.
"We're going to look pretty stupid sitting still in these boats when they figure out we're missing and come down here."
He leans over the edge and grabs the chain, rattling at it in an effort to try to unhook it somehow. When a gentle shake doesn't move it, he stares forlornly at the lizardman, not wanting to personally re-enter the water.
2007-03-21, 02:08 AM
Lissa points to the back of her neck, where the Evil Rune presumably lies dormant. "Until we can find a safe place to rest and one of the mages gets this thing off my neck, odds are good that the bloodsuckers will know exactly where we are. So lets get some flowing water between us and them, eh? Knowing where we are won't do them much good if they can't follow us." She peers uneasily into the inky depths of the subterranean river. "And a teeny little boat is not my idea of a safe place to rest. Who knows what might be swimming around down there?" Wringing out her wet braid over the side of the boat, Lissa looks over at Lumpy. "What do you think, Lumpy? You've got the tactical experience here."
2007-03-21, 03:00 AM
Lumpy sits silent for a moment, still brooding over Elthan's consciousness, WHen he does speak, his tone is strained, but simple and to the point,
"Fact is, we can't afford niether not resting or not moving. If the mark still works, they'll sort out where we are eventually either way. Moving buys us time ta set up favorable circumstances, and resting makes sure there is such thing as a favorable circumstances."
He waves a hand at Callos,
"And if vampires aren't too keen on running water, then there may not be a better place fer it than here. Don't matter if it's flimsy, uncomfortable, or otherwise dangerous- some'a us gotta get the sleep ya can get when ya can get it."
He shrugs tiredly,
"Bottom line, I say we let the current take us and anyone what needs sleep fer magic or whatever else get it. Everyone else can steer and keep an eye on things fine."
2007-03-21, 04:12 AM
Heaving himself onto the last boat, he alarms Callos who maneuvers as best as he can so that they don't capsize.
Sitting in the boat, the Lizardman is shivering very badly and dripping water onto the boat. He manages to dig out a blanket and wrap himself with it.
"WE Gooo.Theeere", he says with his teeth chattering.
We are too tired to paddle. Other ways will be too tiring.
He slumps down in the boat with nothing further to say. If Elthan turns to look at him, he finds that the reptilian avoids looking him in the face.
2007-03-21, 12:18 PM
Tiriel watches the water running against the sides of the boats.
"Is it just me, or is the current running East? I think our best bet would be to just let the boats float with it - it's going the way we were headed anyhow."
Taking care not to move suddenly she reaches over and lifts up the chain until it's high enough to allow one of the boats to pass under, if the occupants duck. She figures that the others can pull their boats under the chain while she holds it before she pushes her boat through.
[ooc: Tiriel is also willing and ready to cast Light when Ackby's lights go out.]
2007-03-21, 06:49 PM
One by one, the boats, including the empty one, drift under the chain being held aloft by Tiriel. She releases the chain, and your boats slowly drift with the current into a natural stone tunnel.
The tunnel wends its way eastward, with the passage wide enough for two boats to pass abreast. The current appears to flow more briskly in the center of the passage, however, and soon all four boats arrange themselves automatically into a line.
Finding yourselves at rest for the first time in what seems like an eternity, several of you simply drop off to sleep where you sit in your boats. When Achkby'd lights die out, Tiriel generates more light, which serves simply to assure everyone that you are indeed moving.
After an indeterminate period of time, the passage begins to narrow. As it does so, the current picks up speed. A low rumbling is felt more than heard in the distance.
Khazrael dozes in and out of consciousness, his hand occasionally rising to rub at the painful bite wound in his neck.
With the ebb of adrenaline comes the need to sleep. He fights drowsiness as best he can - there has to be someone awake, and he is on the leading craft. His eyes linger on the ring on his left hand, and he remembers the friend he took it from... Thanks for your gift, Matthias. You're not forgotten.
The distant rumbling is appeasing at first, but as it gets closer it brings him to his senses. "Guys, I'm afraid there may be a waterfall coming soon... Tiriel, can you fly ahead to scout ?" He is focused enough to forget his ambivalence with regard to his angel.
He tries to slow the boat down, first by back-paddling then, seeing his efforts are not enough to match the speed of the currents, he tries to let the boat get stuck across the tunnel. He even slows down the next boat, so that his doesn't get dislodged.
"If at all possible we should wait here until we know what's coming."
2007-03-22, 01:19 AM
Despite her initial misgivings, fatigue and the rocking motion of the boat conspire to lull Lissa to sleep. Just before she drifts off, she yawns and sleepily waves a hand. The gnome's soaked armor and clothing are instantly dry. Mmm, I love magic...
Lissa drifts back to consciousness after some time, happily nestled against something warm. And- moving? She opens her eyes to find that she apparently cuddled up to her seatmate, Achkby, in her sleep. Blushing under her dusky complexion, Lissa sits up abruptly. "Um. Sorry about that, I didn't mean to..."
OOC: Previous 'day's prestidigitation used to dry off. Once Lissa is done talking to Achkby, she'll pray for spells.
2007-03-22, 10:25 AM
Tiriel looks dubiously at the low hanging rock overhead. It looks like she wouldn't have much clearance. Yix, on the other hand, has no problems zipping ahead into the darkness. He isn't gone long before he returns with a beautiful but alarming image ...
The tunnel you are floating down opens up into a vast cavern. An enormous waterfall cascades down a steep rocky face. The vertical drop is at least 200 feet.
2007-03-22, 11:39 AM
Trinark makes the rounds in his boat, starting with the two ladies. Elthan is not left out, however. His wounds are bound with the same care and respect as is offered the others. After that he settles down to rest as the current carries them lazily down the underground river.
2007-03-22, 03:29 PM
The dwarf streaches himself out, still in his plate, then looks around
"Oi! Any of yer got another spider thingie? That could get several of us out of the way o the water. Im not exactly looking foward to a 200 foot drop"
2007-03-22, 04:42 PM
Elthan huddles to himself in the boat, unable to rest with so much on his mind. Though Trinark offers to bandage Elthans cheek, the wound has already healed over externally for the most part, and any such mundane healing would serve no end.
Briefly during the ride, he looks up and checks everyone in the group with a gaze. When they stopped running, the inquiry would begin. Who would listen to him, understand, or sympathize? He ends on the Druid, and watches as the lizard-kin consciously looks away. Filled with a rather empty feeling, he huddles again and falls asleep.
He rouses himself as Yix makes his return trip and informs everyone of the impending danger. Unsure of what advice to give, he curls further into his now damp robes and grasps the edges of his cloak.
2007-03-22, 05:13 PM
Achkby, Halfling Sorcerer
After he's climbed aboard, Achkby strips off the bulkiest of his clothes, checking his pack for any damage or anything that might have floated away. Some of his food supplies are ruined, and he regretfully tosses his soaked fennel and cumin overboard. The sugar is mostly washed away, but he self-consciously licks up what little has stuck to the cloth before jettisoning it, as well.
As he regains some energy, Achkby recalls the altercation back in the cavern.
Wait... what was that about Elthan?
As Lissa has fallen asleep -- pleasantly close to him, Achkby notices -- the halfling turns to Khazrael. He had been, after all, carrying Evendur's head.
"So, what was that about Elthan killing Evendur? Did a summoning go awry?"
Huh... what could Elthan summon able to cut off a paladin's head?
As Lissa shifted against him, Achkby smiled. After a little while, he began gently stroking her hair, moving from the (now crooked) part in the top down to the end of her ponytail. When he found his fingers tracing over the spot of her finding rune, though, he quick stopped, and glanced around nervously, wondering if anyone had seen him.
When Lissa suddenly sits up, Achkby recoils sharply, but at her words, gives her his most serene smile.
"Not a problem," he replies, "It was nice. Er, to be warm, I mean..."
2007-03-22, 07:17 PM
Fizahn remains silent as they walk through the tunnels and get into the boats. He keeps as much distance between himself and Elthan as possible. He speaks a little to Thokk while he's walking. "Didn't appreciate my sarcastic comments, huh?Well, I don't appreciate his trying to deliver us all to the vampires. Would it be too harsh to say we should get rid of him now? Also, there's that rune on Lissa's neck. We should see if the mages can do something about that." Fizahn groans as Yix reports the waterfall. Waterfall. What do we do? "Is there any way to get out before we hit the waterfall? Everyone should slow the boats down as much as possible."
2007-03-23, 07:06 PM
Oh no, a waterfall... we're going to have to get out before we hit it. "...what Fizahn said. Does anyone have a grappling hook or something that we could use to grab onto the wall of the tunnel?"
2007-03-23, 08:27 PM
How are we going to get down from that height? I could carry everyone one by one, but that would take forever...and it's not really safe.
"Oh. I have one, jut a second."
Tiriel scrounges around in her bag and eventually manages to locate both her grappling hook and a long length of thin rope. She looks at Katrine, "Do you want to throw it or should I? It should be able to catch on the ground, riverbed, whatever."
2007-03-24, 05:11 AM
Trinark waks to the sounds of increasing aggitation and worry. He streaches from his cramped position and hears his boatmates talking about grarabbing onto walls and catching onto the ground. He addresses Katrin.
"What is wrong? Has someone fallen out?"
It is at this moment he remembers the sword he had left at the top of the stairs in the building. A slight pang of loss gripps him. Afterall it had been a gift from Elistrae.
2007-03-24, 09:02 AM
Katrin accepts the grappling hook and the rope, and begins tying the rope to the hook. She explains briefly to Trinark that according to Yix, there is a large waterfall ahead. "If we could tie the boats together somehow and attach them to the wall of the tunnel, then we could stop them before we went over the waterfall. But we'd still have to get out of here, probably by climbing down... We could do it with ropes again, but we'd need some way to get to the falls in the first place, and then stop safely and get everyone out... any ideas?"
2007-03-24, 02:59 PM
Why did everything seem to be conspiring against them? Now it was nature! What had he...err...all of them ever done to deserve nature's wrath?! With a snarl the necromancer slammed his open spellbook shut in front of him and stuck it into the belt of his trousers. No way that he was going to let it's precious pages get wet and become ruined.
"Oh come on! Isn't there some way to just..stop the water?!"
2007-03-24, 07:23 PM
The walls of the tunnel are smooth and slick, offering little purchase. Gradually you notice that the walls of the passage are getting closer together, seeming to be about 10 feet apart at the moment. The current seems to be picking up speed as it narrows
The rumble intensifies into a roar. Yix seems agitated. We don't have much time!
2007-03-24, 08:26 PM
Elthan curls in a bit more as the water speeds up. There wasn't anything he could do to save them, and what was worse is that he was reasonably certain he'd come out okay. All but perhaps two of his friends were about to be thrown off a cliff via running water, and he'll get to watch it happen from a safe distance.
It was just too much to bare, to first kill one then watch the rest die from inaction. Elthan stands up in the boat, and grasping the ends of his cape, transforms suddenly into a bat. The bat frantically flaps its way towards the first boat, and upon landing Elthan reappears behind Lumpy to the discomfort of the other three. "Lumpy" he says hurriedly while preparing for a spell, "I want you to jump into the water after I discharge the spell."
If Lumpy says anything, Elthan doesn't listen to it. As soon as he is casting, he gives Lumpy a push, commanding, "Now."
OOC: Casting Enlarge Person. Lumpy will now be a large creature and take up ten feet of space. As the passage narrows, he should block off all of the boats by standing.
2007-03-24, 09:05 PM
What the hell!! As Tiriel witnesses Elthan's transformation the she feels the bottom drops out of her stomach. Just what is this man? Is he a vampire as well now? Well whatever he's doing, it doesn't seem harmful...yet.
"Yix! How far are we from the mouth? And is there any dry land near it? A large rock or a ledge, anything?!"
Khazrael's exhuasted body finally reacts to the slow panic rising in his addled brain. His heart begins to race and he lurches forward into a standing position. His body begins to shake and he once again undergoes a subtle transformation, his legs bow out and he drops to a crawling position.
He crawls forward and rests an arm on Adalmar briefly, who briefly feels himself undergoing a similar change. He casts his gaze to the two smaller passengers and with a sigh of regret, briefly touches Akhby's arm, sending the little sorcerer into a brief spasm as his body accomodates the change.
His touch moves to Lissa and he closes his eyes, but she feels nothing. The cold hand grips tight enough to hurt a bit as the sorcerer turns his focus deeper inward, but the spell does not come forth. He steadies himself and slowly opens his brilliant blue eyes.
"I'm tapped out, I can't...the magic's all gone. Look, if nobody can figure anything out, everyone get to a wall. As long as your hands are free, you can climb like a fly. Lissa, I'm sorry, but maybe Adalmar can hold you on his back. If you have some rope, you could maybe make a harness or something. I might be able to help hold you up, but I'm not..."
...I'm not worth a drop of blood in hades if I can't get us out of this one.
He starts coughing and sinks to a seated position, looking drawn and clammy. His hands grip the side of the boat and he prepares to jump as soon as it's apparent that he'll have to.
((OOC: Casting an extended spider climb on myself, and using my remaining two second level slots to spider climb Adalmar and Akhby. Sorry Lissa, but I don't think Adalmar could support Akhby's weight, and if I can save all four of us, I've got to try.))
"Funny thing, I STILL wouldn't call this the worst day of my life."
2007-03-25, 12:13 AM
Lissa doesn't need to be told twice. She pulls a length of silk rope out of her pack, puts the pack on, and proceeds to tie the rope around her waist and shoulders. An improvised harness, just as Khazrael suggested. "Okay Adalmar, I'm going to tie the other end of this around your waist, then climb aboard. Again. Hopefully we won't need the rope." Her knots aren't terribly complicated, but it looks like they should do the job. Rope tied, Lissa climbs onto the ranger's back, arms clasped around his chest bandolier-style and legs locked around his waist. "Let me know when you're going to jump so I can brace myself. And... sorry you're getting stuck with the pack-mule job. I'm really not doing this on purpose."
OOC: No worries Koji, I know Lissa's the lightest one in this boat.
EDIT: Ohhkay, what's up with the dice roller?
2007-03-25, 01:37 PM
Realizing that she may suddenly have to catch someone if something goes wrong, Tiriel takes off her cold weather gear and shoves it into her pack. She reluctantly realizes that she should take off her chain mail as well.
Tiriel takes off her cold weather gear, armor, sword, bow, etc... placing them into her bag of holding. She can now carry 130 lbs of weight while flying.
2007-03-25, 04:21 PM
Lumpy unslings bow and guisarme and shove it next to his pack and the saddle bags he'd collected. If the weapons survived the fall, he might recover them, but more important was being free to move right now.
The half-orc begins scanning the tunnel they're flowing down. Was it wide enough to wedge a boat in crossways? It might by them some time to figure out a way to ferry themselves down safely. Experimentally, he uses an oar to judge the passage's width and the rowboat's length. He had to get it right though. Too short and they'd simply capsize and go down the falls without the benefit of even the boat's protection.
If the tunnel looks to be less wide than the boat is long, Lumpy will try to use the oar to turn his boat and wedge it in place. I'm going to assume he's in the first boat.
2007-03-25, 08:35 PM
Achkby, Halfling Sorcerer
Achkby looks to Khazrael gratefully. "Th-thank you. Er... wi-will it h-hold against the, the current?" he stutters nervously.
Maybe they won't notice. Or they'll think my teeth are just chattering from the cold.
At the other sorcerer's last comment, Achkby tries to regain grasps for some remnant of his already tenuous and rapidly vanishing claim to bravery.
"I wouldn't call this the worst day of the trip," he says with a raised eyebrow and an (admittedly brief) grin.
And that's the truth.
He chuckles as he hears the halfling's concerned question.
"Absolutely not. The current will rip you off the wall and throw you straight into whatever's below. We all need to stay out of the water."
He notices Elthan's transformation out of the corner of one eye. Told them - you can't restrain mages this easily.
Khazrael's touch causes a wave of cold and a wave of heat to run through his body in short succession. He is surprised by the gesture, as if he didn't think the sorcerer had that in him. Or because he didn't expect to be chosen. He has a grateful look. Never underestimate your fellow humans. And those others have been in the Underdark !
He hurriedly gets rid of as much gear as possible, stashing it in his haversack. He takes out a rope, and ties it around his waist. He decides to carry the haversack on the front, to counterbalance Lissa's weight.
He starts steering the boat to the left wall. He lets Khaz and Achkby leave first, then proposes : "If one of you feels strong enough, he can hold one end of this rope and make it to the other side of the tunnel via the ceiling. If we can slow the boats down, we'll give the others some purchase. However, if you don't feel like you can hang to it, let go of it. We are done for if we fall in those currents." His tone is grim, and his features are drawn with tiredness.
Mielikki, lend me strength.
2007-03-26, 06:07 PM
Trinark gathers from the flurry of activity going on arround him that the others are trying to stop the boat. He also notes the increased pace of the water beneath them. He quickly comes to the logical conclusion: danger ahead. he casts arround him for his scaley friend, suspecting him to be in more danger than the others. Glad to find his friend safely out of the water he starts to worry about his own safety. People seemed to be considering abandoning the boats and he knew he couldn't swim well with what he was carrying.
"Tiriel, is there a place for my armor within your magic bag?" he says, removing it with all the swiftness he could muster. Even if she had no room, he would choose his life over the armor. Only a fool would throw his life away for valuables.
2007-03-26, 07:14 PM
"I think so. Go ahead and try, but don't force it."
2007-03-26, 08:20 PM
Katrin grabs the rope and attaches the grappling hook.
Yix zips ahead into the darkness, then all too quickly reappears. The waterfall is just ahead. No ledges. No rock. Just a long drop!
Many of you start to frantically stuff your gear into any available haversack. The sound of the waterfall rises to a near-deafening roar.
Elthan transforms into a bat and flaps to the lead boat, where Lumpy is trying to turn the boat perpindicular to the current. The half-orc grunts in displeasure when Elthan transforms back into his half-elf form, but is too busy trying to wedge the boat against the stone walls to notice when Elthan touches his shoulder.
Lumpy grows to enormous size before he realizes what has happened, almost capsizing the lead rowboat. Having no choice, the enormous warrior stumbles out of the boat into the swift current.
Wedging his body against the walls, floor, and ceiling simultaneously, manages to keep himself from being swept away. The four boats pile up against him, each boat tilting crazily. The rear two boats tip upward and begin to fill with water.
Khazrael leaps to the ceiling, clinging to the slick stone like a spider. Achkby joins him, shivering from the cold (or from fear, perhaps). Adalmar also leaps to a wall, Lissa strapped to his chest like a swaddled baby.
Tiriel and Trinark crouch in the lead boat. Aeroz and Fizahn clamber into the second, joining Thokk. Aeroz fishes a ring from one of his pockets and slips it on.
The lizardman and Callos struggle in the water, trying to hang on to the capsized boats, both to stay afloat and to keep from being washed away.
The weight of the four boats and the rapidly flowing stream press against Lumpy. Despite his half-orc's best efforts, the flotsam begins to push Lumpy backward.
Yix flaps about frantically. End of the line! End of the line!
2007-03-27, 09:01 AM
Lumpy didn't bother chastising or even offering comment to Elthan. There wasn't time, and he knew well enough to get off the boat when he started growing. He'd just have to kill the sorcerer later, was all.
There was almost a giddy sort of power to revel in with his increased size. He'd never been tall, and it was a feeling he'd have liked to enjoyed in less pressing circumstances. For now, he wedges his near ton of weight into the passage. his gauntles scrape and squeal against the edges of the passage in hopes of finding some unseen grasp. His boots, hobnails now the size of quarters, likewise scrabble against the floor beneath the rusing water.. Even his neck cords up in effort as he forces his scalp against the ceiling, leaving a bloody streak as he is inexoriably forced backwards.
He knew he was slipping, there was nothing he could do to stop it. He could only hang on,
"Everyone inta the first boat if ya can. Ain't njothing gonna stop us from going over now!"
2007-03-27, 04:05 PM
Katrin's boat abruptly tilts and she grabs onto the side to stop herself falling out. She throws her weight against the high side of the boat to try to stop it from completely capsizing. "Tiriel--help me right the boat!" At the same time, she looks desperately around for some place in the tunnel to secure the grappling hook.
Yix flies around frantically hoping that everyone thing will turn out okay. "Is there anything I can do to help?" Yix asks urgently
2007-03-27, 07:04 PM
"Sonuva...!" was all that he managed to squeeze out before his boat went over to the wrong size and he was tossed into the water. Already shivering and sputtering with the cold as he struggled to stay afloat in the water and hang unto the boat. And what did he do while he was doing this? Pull out a rope! Of course he had a plan for the rope but it wasn't exactly a great one either.
The only thing Khazrael's mind allows itself to focus on is the feel of the cold, slick stone against his palms. He shudders against the ceiling and slowly creeps forward, blocking the terror below out of his perception. He looks out past the falls, struck by the beauty of the place even as he searches for anything his companions beneath him can use to save themselves.
2007-03-27, 08:42 PM
((This is basically an addendum to my last post))
The necromancer scrambled back into the rapidly filling one and did as Lumpy asked, scrambling to the very first one. Once there though he was far from idle. Instead he held one hand over the rope clutched in the other and began to chant softly. Like the charlatans in the big cities the rope rose up into the air until it looked as if it was affixed to the ceiling of the cave and the necromancer was quick to begin scurrying up it.
"C'mon! This space will keep seven others besides myself self for about six hours before it collaspes. ONLY SEVEN! Even Lumpy can get in here. We'll have plenty of time to work on things during the time so come on!" He exclaimed, looking much like a mad man...until he disappeared at the end of Lissa's borrowed rope...
((To those who do go in...))
It lead up into a gray empty space with a window peering back out to were the rope had lead them from, and Callos sat down with a huff.
2007-03-28, 09:37 AM
Balls... Well, looks like we don't have much of a choice, unless we use that hole place to ferry people back and forth for the time bein...
The dwarf looks around for a second before hurrying over to the rope. He then turns around and motions to Fizahn and Aeroz
C'mon lads, we gotta get up here before the half breed can let go and clamber up himself
2007-03-28, 10:11 AM
Tiriel helps Katrine into one of the boats that's still upright before extending a hand out to druid and helping him aboard. "I don't know what he did, but everyone should get the rope and join Callos. I'll go with Yix and try to find a way to get everyone out of here."
Once everyone's out of danger, and the water, Tiriel will ride the boat until she's able to take to the air.
2007-03-28, 11:06 AM
As the boat flips and Callos plunges to the otherside, Ssathiya allows himself to submerge and dives for the bottom of the channel.
Swimming downward, he sinks his claws into the ground and begins to pull himself to the side away from the current. His body somersaults as his hands anchor him down and his head faces the oncoming current. Keeping his body low on the bed, he claws his way from the center. Occasionally his grip comes loose but he grabs hold and continues moving.
OOC: he will emerge when he is against a wall.
Swim: 10,16 (Rolls=9,15 +7-6) I dunno if this is rough or stormy. if it's rough and i'm allowed to take 10, i will.
Strength checks: 20, 4, 20, 8 (Rolls=18,2,18,6 +2)
Hold breath:64 rounds
2007-03-28, 04:58 PM
At once, the half-elf slumps back in the boat in relief. The stop was not as smooth as he had hoped, but everyone, with Callos' and Tiriels assistance, should be able to be safely taken down the fall. All he had to do now was wait for everyone to enter Callos' dimensional creation and then enjoy a nice ride down current with Tiriel.
2007-03-28, 05:48 PM
Heeding Callos' advice without his usual comment, Aeroz makes his way to the rope and climbs down into the safe area that the necromancer created.
"Khazrael, how long does this spell last ?" The answer goes some way towards reassuring him.
He repeats over and over to Lissa who is clutching him tightly. "It will be fine. It will be fine..."
When he realizes it is becoming more of a jabber, he stops.
Finally admitting, however disheartedly, that he can't do anything more for the remaining boats, he goes to the end of the tunnel and slowly starts the descent. He refuses to look down - he has never been one for heights. Though he tries to keep an eye out in case Achkby or Khazrael need help.
2007-03-29, 11:20 PM
Khazrael, Achkby, and Adalmar (carrying Lissa) scuttle past Lumpy towards the opening just past him. Clinging to the walls, they watch the water cascade downward into the darkness. The roar of the waterfall is deafening. The effect is both awe inspiring, disorienting, and terrifying.
Lumpy grits his teeth as he presses his limbs and neck against the slick rock as hard as he can, fighting the current for every inch. His efforts allow Katrin and Tiriel to stabilize the lead boat, which in turns gives Callos the chance to clamber aboard and create his rope trick.
The necromancer climbs up into the extradimensional space, followed one by one by Thokk, Trinark, Aeroz, and Elthan. Down below, Tiriel nods, and Katrin grabs the rope and joins the others.
Elthan pokes his head out of the sanctuary and makes eye contact with Lumpy and Tiriel in turn. He nods, then dispels the spell enlarging the half-orc. As Lumpy shrinks, he grabs on to the rope with one hand. The boats shudder, then accelerate over the precipice, plunging to their destruction.
Tiriel, left alone in the lead boat, steps off of its prow into empty space just as it tips over the edge of the waterfall. Calmly, she extends her wings and soars into the vast cavern beyond. Yix flies by her side, his tail flicking from side to side with pleasure.
Lumpy watches Tiriel sail off safely into the darkness, then climbs hand over hand up into Callos' little hideaway. He takes a quick headcount. There are seven people in the magic sanctuary, four of you clinging to the walls at the tunnel's end, and Tiriel and Yix are flying safely. He double checks his count then asks, "Where's the lizardman?"
2007-03-30, 10:31 AM
After leaving the boats Tiriel spends a moment simply enjoying the freedom that flying gives her. It had been quite sometime since she'd had an opportunity to just relax, for even a moment, with her feet off the ground.
Seeing Yix gently reminds her that others are waiting on here. With a small sigh she starts examining her surroundings hoping to find some dry land.
Khazrael skitters down the sheer wall alongside the waterfall, keeping his distance to avoid both the cold water and the threat of it dislodging him.
He scans the area constantly, looking for any sort of shelf or ledge on which to rest. He cautiously eyes the space just before the drop as he edges away from it, wondering what will become of his friends if no solution is found.
Yix flaps his wings lazily, looking around for a place to relax for a bit. This night was bringing to much excitement for this small dragon.
2007-03-31, 05:56 PM
Tiriel soars through the darkness. She is the party's only source of light. In the otherwise complete darkness, it is difficult to maintain a sense of scale, and at times she appears to be as small as a firefly.
Even those with darkvision have difficulty making out the limits of the chamber. Tiriel and Yix make an aerial survey and discover that the entire gallery appears to be an underground canyon carved by the rushing water.
The tunnel opening is an irregular diamond shape in a tall but narrow rock wall.
The ceiling of the cave lies about 50 feet above the waterfall opening and is made up of stalactites and curtains of rock. The chamber floor lies 200 feet below and is an irregular "V" in cross-section with scattered stalagmites further creating complex terrain.
The valley seems to stretch indefinitely into the distance with the stream, having reformed down below, wending its way east once again.
Tiriel spots a flat, open space down below, far enough away from the waterfall's base to be dry and relatively quiet. She hovers at the top of the waterfall, but the roar of the crashing water is too loud, and she can't make herself heard.
Instead, Yix uses his telepathic abilities to update the party members, serving as a link between those in the rope trick sanctuary and those clinging to the wet rock.
Quickly the news spreads: The lizardman is missing ...
Before he started on the long way down, a quick glance at Thokk climbing a rope and disappearing informed him that they were mostly safe. It became easier to go down - no lingering sensation of having betrayed companions.
In the darkness, he has to be even more careful. Luckily, it seems the wall is very smooth - no unexpected ledges - so that the spell is enough.
He thinks back to Yix : "He is not with us."
Knowing he can't be heard over the din of the waterfall, he instead tries pushing his thoughts back to the little dragon, trying to communicate as it does.
He was in the water, did he go over, or is he still up there?
He glances up to the top of the waterfall, then down towards the bottom.
If Raskoruran is at the top, he is holding on and may need help to get down. If he's at the bottom, he is dead or dying.
Those outside of the shelter can barely make out Khazrael as he swarms down the sheer wall, determined to locate the Lizardkin.
2007-03-31, 08:46 PM
Trinark, safely within the extra dimensional space feels the bottom of his stomache drop out. The cold, eptiness he suddenly felt was far worse than any thing subteranian water could cause. He makes a quick check of those within the space with him, as close to panic as he had been for... well, a long time. His friend, his dear friend was missing because he had not been concentrating enough. He hadn't been keeping track of his surroundings and now look where it had lead. It was irrational to blame himself, he knew, but he couldn't help it.
"Are you sure there is no sign of him?" he thinks back at Yix.
Yix flies back towards the falls, checking to see if the lizardkin really is missing.
2007-04-01, 01:12 PM
All Lissa can really do at this point is cling onto Adalmar, hoping against hope that she doesn't lose her grip and that if she does, her knots hold. Why did I think this was such a great idea again? Oh yeah. Waterfall. I hate being helpless! And it's so dark... ah, that sparks an idea! Lissa clings on extra-tight with one arm and both legs, freeing her right hand for just a few moments. With a gesture and a few words in Gnomish, Lissa's trademark quartet of pastel-colored dancing lights pop into existence over Adalmar's head. The moment the spell is done, her right arm is holding on again. "There we go, that ought to help a little."
Lissa's heart sinks at Yix's announcement. "Oh no..." she murmurs.
OOC: Cast dancing lights and keep them over Adalmar.
2007-04-01, 08:55 PM
Yix streaks back and forth across the waterfall, keeping just far enough away to not get caught in the water's grip. A heavy mist dampens the little dragon, but he continues to zig zag as he probes for any sign of the lost druid.
The pseudodragon is rewarded when he senses a tiny flash of consciousness. As the lizardman regains consciousness, his mind registers wet, cold, dark ... Yix senses this as well and relays a message to the others, He is alive!
2007-04-02, 09:30 AM
Achkby, Halfling Sorcerer
Achkby, unable to muster the courage to hang from the ceiling by three limbs for the time it would take him to cast a spell, continues to suffer the darkness. He does his best to climb after the sounds of Khazrael scrabbling ahead. Unlike the other sorcerer, he begins the decent feet first, peering about to see if he can find the others.
When Lissa conjures her own light, the halfling utters a small prayer to every member of the pantheon he can think of.
Then he looks down.
2007-04-02, 10:34 AM
Where is he? She asks Yix. While she waits for the little reptile's response Tiriel flies toward the island she'd spotted earlier. She lands and upends her bag in the middle of it; being careful to keep everything together in one pile. She then returns to the air with only her sword and her empty pack, waiting to hear what Yix has found out.
2007-04-02, 11:54 AM
Katrin's heart sinks at hearing that the lizardman is nowhere to be found, but rises again when Yix transmits that he is alive. Yix... do you know where he is, or what condition he's in?
To the others in the rope trick space, she says "We have to find some way to get out of here; this space isn't going to last forever... Any ideas? This rope seems to be anchored pretty securely, maybe we could attach other ropes to it and climb down on those... although I don't know how I'd do that and hold onto this rope at the same time."
2007-04-02, 06:30 PM
Trinark echoes the other's thoughts with his own, sighing with evident relief. The churning of his stomache settled somewhat, though the remains of his consternation still battled with his empty interior.
"Where is he?"
2007-04-02, 07:43 PM
"Whats all the ruckus about this place falling apart? We have a good six hours until it expels us back into the river so no rush. I plan on trying to catch some sleep while we figure out a way around this waterfall problem." Came the slightly annoyed response from Callos. The necromancer was stretched out on his back, both hands palms up resting on his forehead. The tall lanky man looked exhausted, what with almost all of his arcane energies being used.
2007-04-04, 09:49 AM
Achkby, Halfling Sorcerer
Achkby gulps and starts down.
Alright. Here we go. Brandobaris, lend me your grace. Right foot up... there, there... down. Hand, slide down... yes. Foot up... there, down. Good. Hand... yes. Foot... yes.
Whew. Okay. I can do this.
2007-04-04, 10:12 AM
As long as the rope dangles down and holds the opening of the sanctuary open, the party members within the space are able to perceive Yix's telepathic messages.
The lizardman is alive, but where is he?
Through Yix, the druid's perceptions are relayed to the rest of you. Of course there is the deafening roar of falling water. You also perceive wet stone. The lizardman is still only semi-conscious. His eyes must be closed because you get no visual images.
2007-04-04, 05:15 PM
The Drow's heart goes out to the lizardman. He wishes there was something that he could do, but untill everyone else was safe there was nothing that could really be done. At least the lizardman was alive and his condition stable. He seemed tired more than scared, but then Lizardmen were far removed from most of the humanoids you delt with on a daily basis and the percieved feelings could be verry different from the actual ones. Trinark settles down for a long wait while things settle down.
"I can help !", he shouts - of course the main result is that Lissa jumps in surprise, since only his fellow spiderclimbers can hear him. He smiles apologetically, then thinks the same message to Yix.
Upon reaching the bottom of the wall, he helps Lissa release herself from the rope - to their mutual relief. Pausing to catch his breath, he concentrates and casts a spell.
Very focused now, he inspects quickly the bottom of the falls. But if he's alive, he is probably still up there - gripping a rock.
He starts climbing back up - without any eagerness, but because he has to.
My sheet is down, but I know I had prepared Embrace the Wild (and Hunter's Mercy), which I cast now : I gain Blindsense 30ft and +2 Spot, Listen for 70min. Blindsense especially should help.
Adalmar still has his rope around the waist and with Lissa's permission will borrow her Light.
2007-04-04, 11:59 PM
Tiriel searches the "base" of the falls looking for any sign of the missing druid. If that fails, she'll head back up towards the mouth of the waterfall, taking the side opposite of Adalmar.
Having reached the base of the falls, he pauses to think.
Wet. Cold. Loud. That sounds like the past two weeks of my life. Still, maybe...
Still pensive, he steps slowly towards the base of the falls. His eyes scan the darkness for any sign--or even any likely location for the Lizardman's location, including debris from the boats or dropped gear. Heavy footfalls carry him close enough for the sound to drown everything out, for the spray to soak him to the bone. To try and experience exactly what Yix described.
"GET UP! GET UP YOU BASTARD! I am not going to spend all night swimming the Styx to find you!"
His voice grows hoarse as he shouts in Draconic, but his mind remains focused.
2007-04-05, 10:02 AM
Achkby, Halfling Sorcerer
When he reaches the bottom of the falls, Achkby closes his eyes and takes deep breaths until his knees stop shaking.
I didn't know what a blessing it was to be close to the ground. I think I'd like stay this way.
As Adalmar tries to grasp at the glowing orbs that dart about Lissa's head, Achkby tiredly withdraws a slingstone from the little pouch at his belt and mutters a few words that suffuse the flat pebble in a thin, yellowy glow. After a moment's hesitation, he passes the stone over to the warrior.
"Don't lose it. It's lucky."
When Adalmar leaves, Achkby takes a quick look around, and edges towards Lissa, standing awkwardly less than an armspan from the gnome.
Should I be doing something about the Druid? Lissa will want to...
"Ah, what now?"
Not knowing what to do, Yix waits and listens tosee if he can hear the lizardkin.
2007-04-05, 11:11 AM
Katrin is feeling impatient and nervous, and wants to get something done while the others wait around in a continually disintegrating extradimensional space. She pulls the rope trick rope up into the extradimensional space. "Does anyone else have any rope I can borrow? I'll probably need at least 200 feet more to reach the bottom of the falls."
2007-04-06, 10:17 AM
The lizardman slowly regains consciousness. The second to last thing he remembers is being surprised by the force of the underwater current. The last thing he remembers is being swept toward the waterfall's edge when one of his handholds crumbles ...
He opens his eyes and blinks as he reorients himself. He is in a cave of some kind, carved from countless centuries of flowing water. There is no light, but his darkvision reveals that the cave appears to be approximately 50 feet wide and 100 feet deep. The entrance is a wall of rushing water.
He recognizes the contact with Yix and finds the reptilian empathic link comforting. I am safe. he projects.
Yix relays this back to his companions.
Katrin looks to her companions for more rope. If they want to rappel down the sides of the waterfall, they will need at least three lengths she calculates. Alternatively, she supposes Tiriel could ferry them down to the base one-by-one if there is enough time.
2007-04-06, 09:40 PM
I'll be in Boston this weekend, but try to post anyways. Peace.
Achkby, Halfling Sorcerer
Whew. Thanks, Yix!
Achkby smiles a nervous, relieved smile. He sits stifly, happy to wait until someone else rescues the Druid.
2007-04-06, 10:28 PM
Tiriel finds some relief in knowing that the druid is safe. She continues her assent until she reaches the top of the falls. Looking up to where the end of the rope disappears she says, "So now what? Should I take someone back down with me?"
2007-04-07, 10:52 AM
Ssathiya, Lizardkin Druid
The previous night had been an ordeal on its own right, the brush with watery death sapped all remaining strength out of him. Slumping to the ground, he undoes the inner trappings of his hide and rolls his pack beside him before fading into unconsciousness.
His harsh breathing slows and quietens.
He's safe, but where in Gehenna is he?
Khazrael's battered body cannot long keep up the search. He returns to Lissa and Akhby's location, suggesting that perhaps Raskoruran was caught on a ledge or some other odd geographical feature.
"If he's safe, then we need to focus on our friends up top. I don't have any rope or anything, but if Tiriel can carry me, then maybe she can carry them."
He goes silent for a moment. Heavy bloodloss makes it hard to concentrate.
"We need...we need to rest somewhere. All of us. My magic energy's all burned up."
He coughs so hard that a feather actually dislodges itself from his head and drifts to the ground. He squints at the two for a moment.
"If you aren't doing anything else, why don't you two search for a spot? I'll hit the other end of the chasm. Look for something with only one avenue of approach."
A hand slides to his belt and he produces a large knife. He turns to leave.
"And be careful."
2007-04-07, 07:39 PM
Tiriel and Yix make an aerial survey and discover that the entire gallery appears to be an underground canyon carved by the rushing water.
The tunnel opening is an irregular diamond shape in a tall but narrow rock wall.
The ceiling of the cave lies about 50 feet above the waterfall opening and is made up of stalactites and curtains of rock. The chamber floor lies 200 feet below and is an irregular "V" in cross-section with scattered stalagmites further creating complex terrain.
The valley seems to stretch indefinitely into the distance with the stream, having reformed down below, wending its way east once again.
Tiriel spots a flat, open space down below, far enough away from the waterfall's base to be dry and relatively quiet.
The lizardman drops off to sleep before orienting himself, cutting off any way for Yix (and by extension the rest of the party) to locate him. Reassured, however, that the druid is safe for the moment, the rest of the party focuses on getting away from the waterfall.
Katrin knots the rope into a harness of sorts, allowing Tiriel to firmly grip each of the party members. Tiriel ferries each party member, including the ones clinging to the rock walls, one by one to the open area she and Yix had scouted earlier.
The area is essentially a stone bowl, perhaps 30 feet in diameter. The edges of the bowl are made up of a ring of stalagmites, providing a measure of security, should the dark cavern prove to be uninhabited.
Cold, damp, and somewhat demoralized, the party huddles together at the bottom of the bowl. The light sources keep the darkness at bay, but generate no heat. Field rations are consumed, though most of you find yourselves with little appetite. The roar of the waterfall, though diminished by distance, is incessant.
On the positive side, the locator rune appears to have faded from Lissa's neck, whether because she is now "out of range" or because the flowing water somehow blocks its effect.
Taking shifts, as usual, you manage to finally get some rest, for the first time in who knows how long. Sleep and meditation take a little bit of the edge off of your misery. You awaken refreshed, but surrounded by darkness and the sound of rushing water.
The first order of business is to retrieve the druid. Yix flies back to waterfall and manages to triangulate a location for the lizardman. To the pseudodragon's surprise, the druid appears to be behind the waterfall, close to its top.
Back at the "camp", Trinark frowns. The drow is used to this kind of environment, and more than anyone else in the party should be at home here, but something seems somehow wrong to him. For the Upperdark, this cavern appears to be a bit too quiet. Though caverns like this often appear barren of life to members of the surface races, the drow is used to at least some signs of the usual Upperdark fauna - cave fish, bats, the occasional kobold, etc. The drow quickly surveys the area and find no signs of life at all.
2007-04-09, 05:47 PM
"Strange..." he mutters to himself in undercommon as his watch ends and he prepares to meditate for his deities blessings. He elaborates in common for the benefit of everyone else.
"It is strange here. I would expect some..." he searches for the right phrase, "signs of life... in a place like this." He pauses as he mentally translates the next part. "There is no movement in the water. I was thinking of food," he hints, "and how I used to sometimes fish in the under-dark lakes as a child. Dangerous to fish. Difficult to see what's in water sometimes, but there is always something. Now... now I see nothing."
He looks, discomfort clear on his face, at the complete stillness that was the water before them. Barely a ripple even reached this far from the waterfall.
Rest and recuperation have worked wonders for Khazrael. With freshly applied kohl, a full night's sleep, and refilled inner energy, he seems almost unaffected by the previous day's harrowing events, save for his slight pallor and slowly healing bite wound.
He catches Trinark's remark just as he returns to the group, and offers, "I hate to suggest this, given that I was just washing in it, but there might be something wrong with the water. Maybe it's poisoned or something."
His sleep is agitated, but dreamless. He wakes up to a world of darkness. Not sure what to do, he busies himself feeding Kir.
2007-04-10, 02:37 AM
Ssathiya awakens from his slumber. Picking himself up he examines his surroundings more throughly this time after donning his armor.
If the cave has nothing of interest, he eats a meal and prays for his spells.
He peers carefully from the edge of the cave mouth for a clear path to climb down with little risk of being washed away. Seeing no other alternative he will climb down and try to locate his friends.
He carves a short prayer of thanks to Semuanya in Druidic near the cave mouth before doing so.
OOC: If there is another path down from the cave i'll follow it. If not i'll just spider climb myself and climb down and follow Yix or Tiriel if they fly and guide me to the others.
2007-04-10, 07:06 AM
After awakening, Katrin retrieves her crossbow, sword, throwing daggers, bolts, and the rest of her usual gear from her Handy Haversack, so she can access it more easily.
"That is strange... Trinark, what explanation could there be for this? I don't know very much about the Underdark, but during the time I was in the Underdark before, there was a lot more life, as you said."
Yix sensing the lizardkins mind tries to communicate with him "How are you faring my friend?"
2007-04-10, 12:04 PM
After resting Tiriel upends her bag of holding and hands Trinark his armor before donning her own. Tiriel feels much more secure with her armor, her sword, and a "night's" rest. Yawning, she says, "I should go check on the druid. He may need help getting to us. I don't know anything about wildlife, but from what we saw last time in the Underdark it is rather empty here. We should probably get moving again soon."
Tirel leaves and try to locate Rasko with Yix's help. She'll do what she can to assist him down the falls and then ferry him to the island if needed.
2007-04-11, 12:57 AM
'I live to hunt another day'
is the telepathic reply Yix receives in return. The sense of elation is quickly replaced with another of determination.
'Sethra and his dead.. abominations.. will not be spared so easily'.
There are occasional pauses as he recalls an odd common word or two.
He confirms that Spider-man(Callos)'s magic saved all the others and that he would mimic Feathers' spell and climb down as soon as he could find a path.
2007-04-11, 11:19 AM
The lizardman examines the small cave but finds little of interest. Standing at the cave's mouth, he touches the wall of water and can immediately feels its downward drag.
It soon becomes apparent that the druid's cave lies just below the upper lip of the waterfall. Perhaps the rock was softer here and was slowly eroded over time. When the druid was swept over the edge he must have somehow managed to catch the lip and tumble into the cave. Or perhaps Semuanya truly watches over him and guided him to safety ...
Getting out of the cave proves to be a bit of a challenge. Simply climbing out proves to be almost impossible, even with the help of a spider climb spell, due to the force of the falling water. In the end, using Yix's telepathic coordination, the druid and half-angel hit upon a bold plan.
The lizardman retreats to the back of the cave, then charges towards the opening, plunging directly into the waterfall itself. The water drags him downward, but as he pierces the front face of the waterfall, Tiriel swoops down from above, catches him under his arms and then peels him away from the waterfall.
The gamble pays off, and Tiriel ferries the druid back to the shelter of the stalagmite surrounded camp. Someone has produced an everburning torch so that the humans aren't left in complete darkness.
Refreshed and relatively dry, the party reorients itself. Underground, the temperature is cool, but not freezing. The underground stream continues to wend its way east, presumbly untimately emptying into (or under, Trinark points out) Lake Ashane. It might be possible to follow the stream to its destination.
The lack of life in this area remains concerning. The water itself is not obviously toxic. You consider the possibility of a predator nearby, making some of you nervous about having the torch bared.
2007-04-11, 10:54 PM
"For the gods sake Trinark, why do you have to bring up things like that right now?! I. Don't. Care. About. The. Lack. Of. Life. We just escaped from a battle that should have been the end of us in every sense of the word, and when we finally get a place to relax, you speak up with the 'This place is unnatural'. You know what? Let it be unnatural. For once, just once, let us see something disturbing and unnatural and do nothing about it. I'm tired, hurt, sleepy, grumpy, wet, and cold. A demon prince could come out of that stream and as long as he devoured my immortal essence quietly, I'd let him! Want to know something else? I have nothing left. Nothing. I'm running on the proverbial arcane fumes here. All I have, is the spell I cast up in the cistern and its of no use to us, not to mention I have to get up in the morning and crack open Elthan's, Feather Boy's, and...and...and that other guy's thoughts so that I might be able to try and rest easy at night without worrying about some Sethra or undead possessed person trying to knife me in the jugular vein. Lets not even talk about glow girl, cause thats a whole new can of worms and believe me when I say you don't want to go there!" Callos was panting by the time he had finished with his little rant, unable to keep in his frustration and irriatation any longer. It had just been poor Trinark's misfortune to hapeen to draw his attention when it had happened. And most of it was true as well, Callos was cold, wet, and tired as hell. The grown man looked as if he was ready to break down and cry from frustration....if it wasn't for the wild look in his eyes.
With the seemingly grand feat done, Yix finally calms his mind and prepares for the task ahead.
2007-04-12, 10:30 AM
"Then shut up or do something Callos. Yelling at people isn't going to help anyone and we all feel like crap, not just you.
At least we managed to get some rest."
2007-04-12, 08:59 PM
You hear a strange mewing sound off in the darkness.
After a while, you are able to recognize it. It is the crying of a small child.
2007-04-13, 12:24 AM
Elthan, still huddling against the incline of the bowl after a poor rest, shows his first sign of activity by following Callos as he rants. Awaiting Tiriels accompanying snap, he attempts to cover up a short chortle of laughter. Swiftly, he calms himself down from the thought and proceeds to nod in agreement with Tiriel.
"I agree. Trinark did not suggest anything more than what you yourself said, that we should just move on hoping whatever it is doesn't bother us on the way out. Outburst won't help if you don't listen in the first place.
"As for the mind-reading, you know just what you'll get out of it. If you want me to speak my mind, all you need to do is ask. Besides, I'm not sure our two companions will agree to the act."
2007-04-13, 05:14 AM
The dark elve's face remains impasive throughout the tirade. Callos' breakdown had been a long time in coming. He was thankfull he had not collapsed completely as his own reserves of calm and serenity were starting to run low as well and comforting a broken humanoid was just a little beyond him at the moment. Living in mortal fear on this scale was not something that one should have to endure often, even in the underdark.
His keen elven ears are among the first to notice the keening of the child's cry. His brow furrows. This was more than unusual. No living thing within sight or hearing untill suddenly this... It made him even more uneasy.
"However much you do not want to deal with danger at the moment, Callos, I suspect that danger has just found us."
He pans his head from left to right trying to divine the direction of the sound.
2007-04-13, 07:16 AM
"Does anyone else hear that? It sounds like a hurt animal, or... or a child crying..." Katrin carefully and slowly approaches the sound, with her hand on the the hilt of her sword, looking for the source of the sound. ...but what would a child be doing in the Underdark? If it's a child from the town, then how could it have escaped?
2007-04-13, 10:45 AM
The crying seems to be coming from the stream up ahead.
Thokk is among the first to leap over the edge of the protective stalagmite wall and run towards the child.
"I see her!" the dwarf calls back over his shoulder as he disappears from view behind an enormous rock column. There is a loud splash.
Several other members of the party also split off to investigate the noise. Some head off in one direction. Others in a different direction.
Katrin moves forward more cautiously, holding an everburning torch. Trinark stands at her side, his face uncharacteristically grim. The drow now knows what is happening and realizes that the party is in a tremendous amount of danger. "I think that you might want to put out that torch ..." he whispers to Katrin.
Tiriel and the lizardman join them as those of you that remain (including Callos, Elthan, Khazrael, Adalmar, and Yix) peer into the darkness, wondering where everyone else went ...
OOC: Message left for DS/Trinark in the Private Conversations thread ...
In the choking darkness, Khazrael fusses with his hair in his hand mirror.
"Did she say something about a kid? Yeah, THAT'S not a trap."
Once satisfied with his hair, he calmly strolls forward in an effort to rejoin the others.
2007-04-13, 02:26 PM
The druid had embraced a relieved Trinark on his return and had listened and agreed with his concerns. Knowing relatively little outside his native experience in the underdark and the rare scroll or skin about the Deep Earth in his mentor's huts had been sketchy at best , he was unable to help with his otherwise extensive knowledge on natural flora and fauna. . Unable to spot any tracks or other signs he could identify, he'd agreed with the general concern to move on just as the cry came.
Frowning he looks at Trinark's face in puzzlement. The expression that settles on it is sufficient for Ssathiya to react instinctively.
He swings up the club from his belt and hefts his shield onto his other arm.
With his back to the group, he peers into the gloom, even up at the ceiling for a possible aerial attack.
"Keep the light", he growls softly as Trinark advises they extinguish it.
"We need. It no need" he explains ineloquently.
"Whats going on? Yix relays to the members that scattered off into the darkness. He peers around looking around for anything to entertain himself while the others run around.
He is worried when he first hear the plaintive sounds, but he is bound to stay with the torchbearers for now. I am becoming a liability - maybe I should light my own... On the other hand, who knows how long we will spend down here.
"Where did the dwarf go ? Let's follow him !" He draws his sword - who knows what kind of predators inhabit this nightmare realm ?
2007-04-13, 09:40 PM
"Oh yes, follow the dwarf who has lunch with death itself every couple of tendays! We are in a dark cave Adalmar, one which could have a million and one creatures out to turn us into a midday snack." Aeroz exclaims in response to the Archer's suggestion.
2007-04-13, 09:57 PM
"No!" shouts Elthan in swift protest to Adalmar. As his voice echo's around the cavern, it is apparent his voice has quite more power than could be summed by looking or traveling with him. Elthan himself seems a bit surprised at this as well Clearly, he was just as stressed as Callos was. However, he carries on with the thought, albeit a bit softer.
"I do not like this. They all just, split off. To go chase a voice in the darkness? I know they know better than that. They know better than to ring a bell that never rang. Just, just stay here for now, Adalmar. I do not like this."
Already standing up and rested enough to replenish his strength, he cast Mage Armor upon himself, making him illuminate the area for a brief moment before fading.
2007-04-13, 10:03 PM
Trinark reconsiders about the torch when the druid speaks, "You're right, my friend."
If there are indeed aboleths about, they already know where we are, and the humans will need the light.
Lumpy, uncharacteristically rash, follows Thokk out of sight. Fizahn, Achkby and Lissa are also missing. Did they run off or are they nearby?
2007-04-13, 10:13 PM
The necromancer sat up abruptly as he heard the sound of a child's scream, eyes darting from side to side as if to locate the source of it. He knew it! He had known it! He had even warned all of the others about it but nnoooo why listen to him?
...Alright, perhaps that part didn't need nearly as much explanation.
"Trinark...do we need to leave? Answer honestly."
His face takes on a stubborn expression. "I am not saying we run after him. But he had found something." He is also quite clearly avoiding Elthan.
He takes out an everburning torch from his backpack, and holds it in his left hand ; he also straps his buckler on. At the same time, he's calling one of the only names his brain can come up with now : "Lissa ? Where are you ?" He starts very low, but steadily increases the volume and he won't mind shouting if she doesn't reply.
When his short search turns up no sign of the missing, he shouts to the others, "We've got a problem! If the others wandered into a trap, they're in trouble unless we show up, and we're in just as deep if they all die and leave us here alone!"
At a loss for ideas, he moves a hand to his chest and mutters a bitter-sounding phrase in a long-forgotten language. His pupils dilate and he gazes in the direction of the sound that drew the dwarf just moments before.
((OOC: Casting Detect Magic, which should register any currently in effect or lingering traces of already used spells in a 60ft cone emanating from Khazrael's position. It's focused on the area Thokk ran towards.))
2007-04-14, 08:18 AM
...damn. It's a trap... there must be some type of creature over there, trying to lure us to it so it can eat us or something... Katrin stops advancing, peering warily towards the area where Thokk disappeared. "Trinark, you can see in the dark--can you tell what's out there? I can't see anything within the torchlight."
2007-04-14, 07:08 PM
"You've got to be kidding me."
She's been in the group long enough to no longer be surprised by rash actions, but charging off into the dark is more stupid than rash.
"As much as it pains me to say it, I agree with Callos in this matter. Trinark if you know what's out there please share, because I'd rather not charge after those already committed to meeting the reaper unless I have too."
Tiriel draws her sword and peers into the dark, her vision is better than a normals humans but she'd still quickly lost sight of those who'd left.
Tiriel's darkvision picks up Khazrael's reaction to her words. He turns, and even against the numb gray brought on by the darkness, his eyes seem eerily sharp. He spits, "Drop the attitude! They'd risk their lives for yours! Why not sweep the river by air and look for them instead of cowering in the dark?"
He returns to sweeping the area he originally set his magically-enhanced gaze on, striding forward slowly and steadily as he does so.
2007-04-14, 10:52 PM
"Don't you ever talk to Tiriel that way again feather head. She's demonstrated her bravery and loyalty on more then one occasion and for you to insult her integrity...NEVER do that. Are we understood?"
Came the chillingly cold voice from Callos as he rose up to his feet in the dark. An odd sort of outrage was filtering in past the quiet terror he was feeling. Odd for lots a reasons but mostly because he even cared that someone was insulting a woman that he utterly despised with every fiber of his being. Maybe it was cause only he should be allowed to do it.
He sure as hell didn't know but his tone did soften as the sound of brushing his clothes free of dirt. "Besides, she's not suggesting we just 'cower' here. Just we don't act like a bunch of damn fools and go running off."
2007-04-14, 11:02 PM
Trinark shakes his head. "There is no point in looking for our friends. If I am right, they are already dead. And we shall be too, if we do not leave immediately."
"I doubt that you would have a word for these abominations in your language. We call them aboleths and avoid them at all costs."
Though Callos can't see it, Khazrael's face twists into a vitriolic snarl.
"What in Acheron is wrong with you people?! Wake up! A perfectly logical orc runs off after a baby that has no business being down here, our friends mysteriously vanish, and you're acting like it's no big deal and we should just leave?! Where are the warriors that took out the two-headed troll?! Where are the people who stood against a hundred dead and WON?!"
He spins on his heels to look at Katrin.
"This falls to us, then, Katrin? I don't believe that one Aboleth could beat half our group before we even knew it existed. If Lumpy or Thokk are still alive, the three of us should be able to take care of anything that's lurking around here. When you three are ready to grow up, you're free to join us."
"Raskoruran, I hope you're on my side here--every wasted word is a step towards death for the missing."
He slips his dagger from his belt and cautiously starts walking in the direction he saw Lumpy go. As he leaves, he mumbles something and gestures at the figures behind him.
Little Dragon, can you see in the dark, too? Help me look, but stay out of sight! We're all dead if they've killed the others.
((OOC: Casting Message on the others in sight before moving towards Lumpy's last location.))
Though he can't bring himself to be as scalding as Khazrael, Adalmar finds himself agreeing. How can they so desensitized ? Wait, are they actually some band of villains ? The half-elf...
But, no, Tiriel, she can't be.
He steps forward. "I agree. We can't abandon them just like that. I won't pretend I know you" - and this time his eyes are fixed on Elthan - "and I don't know those aboleths but I have to try. I have lost enough friends. I won't just flee."
His voice, shaky at first, becomes firm after the first few words. Lissa...
Torch and sword in hands, he joins Khazrael, shares a look with him. "Besides, how do we avoid this invincible creature ? Tiriel, you really could help."
2007-04-15, 03:58 AM
His first reaction had been a rising fury as the humans began to bicker when a powerful creature was stalking them out there.
But the fury was doused as Trinark surprised him with his suggestion to leave them for dead.
He turns to look at his closest companion and his voice is quiet, soft and non-acusatory.
"I have never known you to feel.. such fear. You single-handedly saved my .. our lives many times. If there is truly something here that makes you say this then I fear for all of us........But I will not leave them."
He turns away and fixes his eyes back into the darkness.
The next words come as a whisper.
"Go now. While there is still time."
There is only sadness and finality in his words and the druid speaks no more.
2007-04-15, 06:30 AM
"It may just be the stereotypes talking, but when the drow are afraid of something then it will always be best to run away, quickly." Aeroz states in a matter-of-fact fashion.
2007-04-15, 08:46 AM
"...If I could see you right now, I'd probably punch you. You don't hear very well, do you? Do you know why we got as far as we have? Because we, usually, take a moment to assess the situation before rushing off into in and not go running into danger. It may seem callous to you, but every second we spread preparing is another percent that we don't die in the process of attempting a rescue." He said flatly, looking around in the darkness futilely for...well anything. Even being able to find Khazrael would have a bonus to follow throw on the threatened blow. But when Trinark spoke, he couldn't help but pause and glance in that general direction, voice solemn. "Trinark...are you certain? You do not believe there is even a chance?"
Waiting quietly for the answer before fumbling around for his back pack, spell book, and other belongings. Pulling them all unto his own shoulder as a cold numb feeling began to fill him up. "Druid...we need you with us. You must remember the greater hunt here! Sethra must pay for everything he has done and plans to do, especially for what he did to the hatchling Sheyra. I know it hurts but...we need to keep in mind the greater goal. Keep the remaining pack alive and well druid so the pack left behind will not have gone beyond for nothing. Please...stay. Too many might have been lost today for us to lose another."
2007-04-15, 10:04 AM
"I don't know, Khazrael. I trust Trinark's judgement on this. Anything that could kill Thokk and Lumpy this quickly can easily take the rest of us out, and someone has to alert the Iron Lord. If we all die here, then we will have died for nothing. I suggest that we try to determine whether Thokk, Lumpy, Lissa, Achkby, and Fizahn are actually dead or alive before we do anything else. And keep away from the water..."
2007-04-15, 01:26 PM
"Do what you want, but I am not going to join their reckless charge.
It seems to me that there's a good chance that at least one of them was enchanted and was used to try and lure the rest of us over ... there.
Let's get going, if it's nothing they'll catch up, otherwise, I'd much rather be safe than sorry. We're so close to our goal, it'd be a shame if none of us ever made it."
ooc: dr.Bob, is there "dry" land that we can walk on? Or are we going to have to find some other way to get out of the "cave"?
2007-04-15, 02:14 PM
The two torches provide enough light to see each other's faces clearly.
For perhaps the first time, the drow's calm countenance twists into an expression of ... is it annoyance, or perhaps truly fear? A moment later, he composes his features again.
"It would take too much time for me to explain in words ..."
The drow closes his eyes and sends images to Yix, which the pseudodragon in turn relays to the others nearby.
You perceive through your mind's eye an enormous fish-like, amphibian aberration with three eyes set in the midline, burning with unnatural cunning and intelligence. The creature has three horrific, pulsating orifices set along the bottom of its smooth belly. It has several writhing tentacles and secretes a rancid, nauseating slime.
The beast is depicted in the gray-green shades of darkvision. The aboleth is at least as large as the fell troll you battled just yesterday.
Trinark adds words to his thought-picture, "The aboleth has ... (what is your word for it?) ... psionic powers that can break one's mind and bend it to the aboleth's will, and its touch dissolves flesh. No doubt our friends have succumbed to its illusions."
You receive a new image, one of a drow child wading out into a shallow pool of water, reaching for a glittering bauble. Suddenly the child is grabbed by a slimy tentacle, his skin immediately turning translucent as it begins to dissolve. He opens his mouth to scream only to choke on a thick mucus that fills his lungs, suffocating him to death ...
"And even worse, it is possible that we may be dealing with a brood of aboleths, not just one ..."
The telepathic images and words fade from your minds, replaced by the plaintive cries of the lost girl ...
OOC: The cries are coming from downstream. The cavern itself is enormous, however, and between Trinark and Adalmar, you are likely to be able to find a path through the stalagmite forest that avoids the stream.
2007-04-15, 02:58 PM
Alright, time to catch up!
Achkby, Halfling Sorcerer
Achkby spent the night fitfully. The unnatural sound of water echoing was utterly unnerving. He woke frequently, the lack of a moon bothering him more than it ever had before. He had exhausted his spell energies drying and warming himself and his friends the night before, which usually plunged him into a deep, exhausted slumber. But not tonight.
He had laid out his sopping (before liberal applications of Prestidigitation) bedroll near Lissa and Fizahn, hoping to take comfort from sleeping with people his size, but it helped little. He woke early, when only Lumpy was awake, from the sound of it. Not daring to venture away from the others, he sat on top of his bedroll for his 'morning' meditation. He heard Lissa wake at some point, but ignored her, taking solace in the familiar patterns of the arcane that swam at the fuzzy edges of his consciousness.
When others had arisen, Achkby had already packed his bag. He stayed close to Lissa in the dark, only daring to venture away from her when the everburning torch was unearthed from whoever's pack it had burrowed into. Though he's as worried as the others by Trinark's concern, he keeps his thoughts to himself. Unlike when they were back in the barn, he's reduced to his usual superfluousness, hurled outside of his sphere of influence. Which really seemed very, very small in this immense blackness.
When the light is quenched, Achkby panics. "Light the torch!" he cries pitifully in his native tongue, not realizing no one can understand him. "What's going on?!"
He does exactly what he had the whole morning: follow Lissa. Reaching out for her arm, he grabbed it just as she began running. He follows, attached to her sleeve, moving as fast as he can over the uneven ground.
"Stop! Stop! Stop! Stop!"
Though he yells for an end, he doesn't know what he wants to stop -- Lissa, the crying, the darkness, the whole adventure -- why not everything? Why can't it all cease? If he stops running, will the darkness just go rushing past him, taking that horrible noise with it, sweeping off and leaving him dry and safe?
Lissa takes a sharp turn right, and Achkby tries to follow, but steps on a slick patch of moss and overbalances, his heavy pack sending his hurtling sideways away from the gnome into a wall. He's stopped, but everything's spinning. The darkness is still there. There's silence for a moment, but then the crying begins again. A moment later, a splash -- Lissa?! No, no, it was much louder than someone Lissa's size. It couldn't be her! No.
Achkby tries to follow the sound of the splash, but after three steps he comes up against another wall. What is this? Is it just an echo? A phantasm? Where's Lissa? And the others? Where should he go?
So dark... should he summon some light? Dare he?
Achkby stands still, breathing hard. His head is still spinning, and the sound of the waterfall and the crying echo about him. He raises his hands to begin casting a spell when suddenly, unprovoked, terrible images begin manifesting inside his head.
an enormous fish-like, amphibian aberration with three eyes set in the midline, burning with unnatural cunning and intelligence. The creature has three horrific, pulsating orifices set along the bottom of its smooth belly. It has several writhing tentacles and secretes a rancid, nauseating slime.
"Yix!" he shouts. The cry echoes off the walls, and the monstrosity in his head wavers. He clutches it to him, pushing aside his horror and disgust to grasp the image as firmly as he can.
Yix! Achkby screams in his head. Yix? Is that you?
It has to be.
Save for Yix, those who failed to follow Khazrael hear a snippet of his voice floating on the cave's drafty air, though the language is unfamiliar to them.
"Damn you a hundred times, Cowards!"
His pace picks up and he touches Adalmar's shoulder, a familiar surge of energy transforming him subtly. His hand falls to his own chest and he involuntarily shudders, his body wracked with the strain of change. He regains his composure and gestures again. He drops to a crouch and springs forward impossibly far. His hands connect with a stalagmite and he swarms around it, rushing towards the "trap" while keeping his body as far from the ground as possible.
((OOC: Yelling at them in abyssal, casting spider climb on Adalmar, then spider climb and jump on himself before moving towards Lumpy's last location.))
2007-04-15, 05:16 PM
Achkby turns so that his back is to a large stalagmite. He looks back and sees a faint glow. Torches? Or is it some kind of illusion? A sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach reminds him that he lost track of Lissa. Where is she? ... Where am I?
The girl's cry continues unabated. Another cry, this one male, calls out from a slightly different direction. "Yix!" The pseudodragon hovers in mid-air, undecided. Achkby? Or is it some kind of illusion?
Khazrael pushes past Adalmar, imbuing him with the spider climb ability once more. Khazrael stalks forward into the darkness, seemingly not caring whether anyone follows. He leaps toward a stalagmite, then scuttles to the other side and is gone from sight.
Adalmar takes a few steps forward as well, holding his torch aloft. He looks back at the others, imploring them to come forward as well.
Trinark watches the newcomers edge away from the main group and sighs. What is it about the surface races that make them so impulsive and irrational?
2007-04-15, 06:46 PM
"Gods damn them. Adalmar get back here if you know what's good for you! There's no way any of us are going to make a difference against one, if not more, of those things."
Stopping to take a breath, Tiriel realizes that there is at least one person shouting actual words.
Yix, can you see who that is? If not, could you lead me to their general direction?
Tiriel motions for silence, hoping that the small dragon can pinpoint the noise.
He doesn't understand the words of the lizardman, but his tone conveys their meaning well enough. He shivers, briefly.
Revulsion seizes him as an uninterrupted flow of nightmarish images shoves aside his thoughts. He can taste bile at the back of his throat. Stop ! And with that his mind closes up, the ordeal thankfully over.
His eyes sweep the group, and their faces that suddenly seem so cold, even bathed in the torch's glow. They won't be moved. He lets out a deep sigh, turns around and climbs up a stalagmite, imitating Khazrael.
"Khazrael, wait ! Speed will avail us nothing if we fall prey to the abomination. Slow down !"
He proceeds on more carefully than the sorcerer, stopping often to search the darkness and listen. Kir is flying in circles around him, more agitated than usual.
I am not sure how many Listen (+13) and Spot (+13) checks are going to be needed, DR, so I'll let you take care of them ? Or tell me how many Adalmar gets before something happens/he detects something.
If at all possible, he ties the torch to his belt/backpack and keeps his sword in hand.
Adalmar's words hang in the chill air behind him and he resolves to at least slow his pace. He scuttles as high as he can in order to keep out of reach of anything lurking in the dark, and pauses for a moment. He scans the edges of his dim gray vision and waits to see Adalmar's form emerge with his torch.
"Adalmar! Thokk and Lumpy aren't exactly in a position for us to be taking our time, here!"
I am the wind. I am the eagle. I call the lightning. I'll be thrice-damned before I let any slimy fish scare me. I've seen worse. I've faced hordes of drow, vampires, a two-headed troll, and some of the most frightening women in all of Faerun. If only the others believed in themselves...
2007-04-16, 05:59 AM
Yix circles around Tiriel and the druid, chittering excitedly. Zipping between and around the large stalagmites and stalactites, he disappears from view, then returns just moments later. It's Achkby!
Yix leads Tiriel to the frightened halfling, and the two of them lead him back to the main party. "Where's Lissa?" she asks with concern.
Adalmar leaps from stalagmite to stalagmite cautiously until he catches up with Khazrael. The two of them cling to a column of stone and look out onto a pool of water where the stream seems to have widened.
Adalmar's torchlight reflects off of the mirror calm surface of the water. In the center of the small pool (perhaps 20 feet away) a little girl, race indeterminate, sits on a rock jutting out of the water. Her face is buried in her hands as she sobs inconsolably.
"I can be pretty naive" Adalmar begins - a strange admission of his own shortcomings - "but something's not right about this."
He observes the scene around him, looking for signs of the predator the drow fears.
He calls out : "Lissa !". He glances at Kir, hoping the hawk's superior vision will reveal something : "Kir, see something ?"
Then, just in case : "Girl, have you seen anyone here ?". He repeats in the various languages he knows.
I actually get +2 to Listen/Spot against the aboleth since it's among my favored enemies.
Listen ; Spot (1d20+15=34, 1d20+15=16) (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=979450)
Kir : Listen ; Spot (1d20+4=24, 1d20+16=29) (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=979451)
2007-04-16, 09:52 AM
Kir circles the pool, avoiding the stalactites protruding from the cavern's ceiling. The hawk appears puzzled.
The surface of the lake creates a perfect inverted reflection of the sobbing girl on the rock. There is no sign of Thokk or Lumpy (or Lissa for that matter).
A chill runs up and down both Khazrael's and Adalmar's spines. Both also share a hard-to-define feeling inside their heads, as if a mild headache is brewing, one that can not be localized ...
The girl finally stops sobbing. She lowers her hands from her face revealing three eyes lined up vertically on the midline, from her forehead down to where her nose should have been. Her mouth is a gaping black hole. The corners of the mouth crinkle into what might pass as a smile ...
Back at the camp, Tiriel, Yix, Katrin, Achkby, Trinark, Callos, Aeroz, and the lizardman notice that the sobbing has stopped.
Khazrael blankly evaluates the creature, recognizing the three eyes as a parallel to Trinark's description. He tries to recall whether he'd learned anything of these beasts during his time in the Underdark.
"Aboleth, I know what you are. No facade is necesary. If you feel like speaking before we come to violence, we would be happy to oblige. We only want to get our friends and get out of here."
His undercommon sounds eloquent, despite a distinct strained effort to make it as casual as his speech in common. A listener might mistake him for a drow if they couldn't see him. As he speaks, he tries to move to a safe perch on the stalagmite, motioning for Adalmar to do the same.
He attempts to send a message to his allies back at the camp, but the cluttered landscape catches his message and blocks it.
((OOC: Hoping to apply the appropriate knowledge checks to allow Khazrael to identify whether this is an illusion or a shapeshifted form, as well as anything else applicable. Trinark did mention that aboleths trick people with false images.))
He looks at Khazrael, puzzled. "What are you saying ? Anyway, I agree we should take better cover."
He climbs up and to the side of the stalagmite, sheathing his sword and preparing to use his bow.
"I told it that we're willing to pack up and leave without a fight. No sudden moves unless it decides to attack, alright?"
Struck by a sudden thought, he continues in undercommon.
"I see that you have made this place your home. I tell you now that even if you defeat us, we are being pursued by a foe that would destroy you and enslave your remains. This foe has a weakness that I am willing to share. You know what I ask in return."
2007-04-16, 11:16 AM
Achkby starts towards the woman, but is stopped by her words about Lissa.
"I don't know! She took off, and we were running, I was following her, but I don't know where we went, I yelled for her to stop, but she turned, and I slipped, and I lost her! I lost myself, too, all I could hear was that sobbing, that crying, but then I heard, I heard... I don't know! I don't know where she is. I heard...
"Where are the others?"
2007-04-16, 11:25 AM
"I don't know. I don't like leaving anyone here but I also know that there's not much I can do to help anyone who's been found by that monster."
By the time they get back to camp Tiriel has decided that getting those still alive out of danger is more important than trying to rescue people who might already be dead. Crap. Well here's where I get to be the ******* and tell everyone to leave...
"Okay we're going, NOW. They know what they're up against and they still ran in like fools. You can blame me and hate me later, but it's time to leave."
Tiriel picks up her pack and starts walking, trying to pick a path away from the water and in a general "Eastwards" (downstream?) direction.
2007-04-16, 03:25 PM
Accompanying Tiriel he reaches Achkby's side. He clasps a clawed hand on his shoulder, a visible expression of relief on his face.
"I find her" he swears to the halfling.
Hearing Tiriel, he grunts
"Find way out. I save as many and find you"
He doesn't look her in the face, staring into the darkness where the two newest additions to their company disappeared to save his missing packmates.
Casting SpiderClimb on himself, he feels his body tingle slightly and walks up the wall heading to the voices of Khazrael and Adalmar.
"Tell Tongues farewell"
is the last thing Tiriel, Yix and Achkby hear.
He steels himself as he prepares to face the mostrosity that Trinark's mind flashed to them. All the humans he'd met in this momentuous quest flash through his mind.
Memories of Thokk dying at a bridge and Callos and Djital transforming flit past as well as one of a sleeping Sheyra beside him. Lastly he remembers his first meeting in the Wetwoods. Only Elthan remained and the death of Evandur was still too fresh for him to trust the wizard. Everyone else was dead or dying. This wasn't about a blood debt. He wouldn't throw his life away foolishly. It was a rescue.
Fear had frozen him on that stone bridge and made him watch Thokk die once.
Not this time. The stride of the druid was more paced now. He moved the way predators did when they were stalking .
There was more than one hunter in the darkness.
2007-04-16, 06:36 PM
Trinark looks deeply sad. He had done everything he could and there was nothing more that he could do. He turns to make one last effort to stop the lizardman, his friend, his companion without whom he would have never come this far, sacrificing himself so pointlesly to this abomination of the dark waters. He had lost friends before to these creatures and he didn't want to lose more, but their quest was far too important to risk everyone.
He looks into the darkness after the retreating lizardman's back, his hunting instinct taking over as he sees the lithe movements his back starts to make, natural and unhindered, unlike the stiffness he had seen in him most recently. He looked in the other direction, after Tiriel the golden angel.
His mind was made up. Tiriel was enough to finish the mision herself. His friends needed him and he had been afraid for far too long. Now was the time for him to face his fear, face it along side his friends and win. They were strong, so strong compared to any he had met before. If anything it was the lizardman's dissapointment that hurt the most.
With his heart beating like a thousand drums in his chest he padded after the sinuous grreen tail of his friend, his armor making chinking noises at each step.
2007-04-16, 07:59 PM
The lizardman slips into the darkness after his friends. Shaking his head, Trinark follows.
Her jaw set with determination, Tiriel heads in the opposite direction, aiming for higher ground. She is accompanied by Katrin and Aeroz.
Elthan, Yix, Achkby and Callos look back and forth from one group to the other, undecided.
OOC: Ssathiya, Trinark, Khazrael, and Adalmar all need to make DC 15 Will checks immediately.
2007-04-16, 11:43 PM
"This is insane! If Trinark is right then I don't know how they can expect to rescue the others." Aeroz states with a sigh as he follows Tiriel.
Accelerating his pace to be walking alongside her, he takes a deep breath.
"Tiriel, why did you do it? Why did you steal the Kris?"
2007-04-16, 11:45 PM
"Grrr....CAN'T YOU PEOPLE AT LEAST MAKE THE PRETENSE OF LISTENING TO ME ANYMORE?!" Callos screamed out at the darkness, and those with darkvision could see his face turning darker. Redder if there would be color. What didn't those empty headed knuckle heads get?! Trinark said they'd already be dead or worse, yet they charging off after a futile hope.
"Tiriel...couldn't you have...you know..grabbed them or something. Stopped them from going running off? I mean geez, what the heck are we supposed to do to help them or the others who went off before hand?"
Khazrael puts a hand to his head, blinking repeatedly. In the flickering torchlight, Adalmar fails to notice that anything has gone awry until he hears an oddly familiar metallic clinking--the sound Khazrael's bangles make as he moves his hands to complete the pattern for the Lightning Bolt spell.
Spittle hangs off of his shaking lips as he hoarsely barks out the incantation, and his face is briefly illuminated by the brilliant blue glow of burning electricity that streaks toward Adalmar.
((OOC:Lightning bolt on Adalmar, 6d6=22 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=981307). Reflex half, DC 16. Sorry bud, whiffed my saves hard.))
2007-04-17, 01:56 AM
Voices enter the druid's head crowding out all semblance of coherent thought and thru it all the slowly growing nudging of an alien mind. The tendrils of the alien mind were insidious and subtle.
A throbbing pain erupted as the sensation of the aboleth's mental presence grew as if it was physicaling crushing his brain and occupying the space within his skull.
Clutching his head, he roars out.
OOC: Will Save 20 +7 = 27
Hearing a cry below him, he looks up from the ceiling to the floor to see Trinark clutching his head.
Roaring he rushes to him to pin him down.
The moon!.. Focus on the moon!
OOC:If i can.. pin Trinark's arms to his side and carry him out of range
He felt mental tendrils brushing his consciousness, then nothing. Suddenly they came back and struck with incredible power. But sheer stubbornness was on his side. Feeling dazed, he looks at Khazrael, a question on his face. Only to see the gestures, and brilliant death coming for him. He screams when the electricity wreathes around his body, making his muscles jerk incontrollably. Then after a second that seems an eternity, it ends.
And cold calculation enters gentle Adalmar's mind, brought in by adrenaline. Survival. Where to go, how to save Khazrael...
He gives his surroundings a quick look. "Kir, to me !" he exclaims, and suddenly he stuffs the torch into a side pocket of his haversack : darkness rules again. He then gets away from the possessed sorcerer.
Hidden and silent, he hears a roar that sounds oddly like the lizardman.
Remaining HP: 9. I figure it's a std action to put the torch away, which leaves me a move action to either climb up or jump to another stalagmite - the idea being that Khaz can't see me anymore and/or I have total cover.
Time to make use of all the skills : Move Silently, Hide (moving at half-speed for this reason), plus Listen to get a sense of what happens around me.
I think I already used the spell that gives me blindsense - and for nothing. Shame.
2007-04-17, 06:43 AM
Katrin hurries after Tiriel with a grim expression. "Aeroz, this is about the worst time that I can think of to bring this issue up. If you want to talk about it later, fine, but right now we're trying to get out of here alive. And that means we can't slow down to argue."
2007-04-17, 08:09 AM
Elthan had since sat down. It seemed very clear that everyone had their own idea of what to do, and were as stubborn as usual in not giving up. Maybe Lumpy was right; The group could stand to benefit from a bit of decisiveness.
Then again, Lumpy was dead, or at least everyone was content to label his fate as such. Who else in the group had such decisiveness? Maybe he was just lucky in guessing, but it did seem as if Lumpy knew exactly what he had done when he barged in at the Common House.
At this point, it was certain that all of the party that remained knew he had killed Evandur, but what exactly did Lumpy divulge while he was not observant? What if he had said no more than Evandur was dead and hoped to sort everything out after the fight? What if no one else saw the room in question, with its tell-tale circle and bloody sword and spear? It could be, with the best of luck on his side, that when Lumpy died, so did the truth of the matter.
Even so, it would take a bit more to continue the lie. Even if the group did not know everything, they did know something. It was that collection of facts that could overturn his escape. If he would play the lie, he must first force their hand.
None of that mattered when the deep cry of the Lizardman pierced the surroundings. Could it be that the Lizardman had died as well? The last member of the party that had fled into the portal save himself, gone with all the others? He had trusted him with his name, that so far as he was aware, only he knew. How could it be, that even so far into the journey, the Lizardman would die nameless to the ones he traveled with?
It became clear to Elthan just how far away he was from were he started. Form the crazy old man, from the marshes, from his home. The only tangible link he had left was the Lizardman. No, not Lizardman, or Druid.
Rushing a few feet past the collected party, he steps into the darkness and lets out a yell of concern. "Ssathiya!"
2007-04-17, 11:16 AM
Tiriel grits her teeth in frustration. "I've only got one free hand Callos, which one did you want me to grab? If I knew how to help them don't' you think I would have !?! That's not an enemy I know how to fight and some of us need to make it out alive and get to the Iron Lord.
"And damn it Aeroz, Katrine's right. I'm not going to talk about that until we're out of here since the answer isn't going to help anyone!"
ooc: is it too late for Tiriel to grab Trinark? Because she'd at least have tried to keep him with them...
2007-04-17, 06:51 PM
"Yeah, its a terrible time, but that's been eating away at me for a while. Don't want to talk about it, thats fine. Just needed to get that off my chest before some fish monster eats us" Aeroz states blandly.
2007-04-18, 07:23 PM
Achkby, Halfling Sorcerer
"Where are the others?" Achkby pesters Tiriel as she leads him back, "Where are they? How are they? Aeroz? Thokk?"
He tries his best not to sound like a petulant child, but his bravo is wearing thin.
When they return to the others, he hurries towards Aeroz, babbling out the same story he told Tiriel.
"I don't know what to do!"
When the druid and Trinark disappear into the darkness, Achkby makes to follow them. But in the darkness, his eyes are weak, and so is his heart. He stops after only a few paces, enveloped in depthless blackness.
He is stuck, wanting to go on but paralyzed with fear. He doesn't know what's out there, that's the thing... that fish...
But how can he go back to the others? How can he leave those two to go after Lissa and the others, Lissa, Thokk, and Lumpy, and just abandon them?
His head wins out in the end. Or so he'll tell himself. In the dark, what can he do to help? And who will go to the Iron Lord? That's what he was paid to do, after all... That doesn't matter!!! But going on, going on is the right thing to do, not going back after the wom-- after a gnome.
Achkby scampers back to Tiriel and the spellcasters, a terrified look on his face.
"CAN'T WE JUST GO?!" he shouts miserably.
2007-04-18, 07:33 PM
Tiriel, Katrin, Achkby, Aeroz and Callos climb to higher ground, followed reluctantly by Elthan. Together, they weave between stalagmites cautiously. Katrin's everburning torch provides enough illumination to see the immediate surroundings, but little else.
A flash of blue-white light and an electrical zzrack!! behind them tells them that someone is casting lightning bolt, presumably at an aboleth.
Almost immediately after, they hear a bestial roar that could only come from the lizardman. Elthan turns back and shouts back in a foreign tongue, "ssah - thee - yah!!!"
Leaping down off of the pillar he had been clinging to, the lizardman tackles Trinark and drags the drow back the way he had come, away from the pool of water and the abomination's mind tricks.
Trinark's brow is furrowed in pain, which seems to lessen the farther the druid drags him from the pool. The lizardman hears his name being called by Elthan. No aboleth could possibly know it. His friends are up ahead.
Adalmar clings to the stone, trying to ignore the pain. His nostrils are filled with the scent of charred meat. A wave of nausea washes over him as he realizes that the smell is his own burned flesh. With his torch extinguished, Adalmar is surrounded by total darkness. Another blast like the first spells certain death. The ranger can only hope that his friend-turned-enemy can't see in the dark ...
Khazrael fights against the aboleth's commands ... kill the human, kill the human, kill the human, kill the human ...
Resistance proves to be futile ... or does it?
OOC: Khazrael can make three DC 17 Will saves at +2 to resist the aboleth. At the end of those three rounds (if he fails), he will find Adalmar and kill (in all likelihood) him. Adalmar has three rounds to do ... something.
Mind ablaze with fury over his having been controlled, he acts with renewed vigor.
"ADALMAR! Come with me if you feel like living!"
He doesn't see Adalmar as he rushes down the stalagmite, and doesn't spend more than an instant waiting for him. "Just get away from the water!"
...Heedless of whether Adalmar is fleeing with him or not, Khazrael begins to shout as he crashes through the maze of stone. "LISSA! LUMPY! THOKK! Listen to my voice! Come to the lightning!"
((OOC: Khazrael doesn't have a chance in hell of seeing Adalmar, so he's running ahead of him and using his darkvision and memory of the area from the previous night's brief exploration to get away from the water and lead Adalmar, should he follow, away. Once he gets far enough from the water for his headache to die down, he's going to run that much further and then fire a lightning bolt straight up (at a slight angle to avoid being hit by any debris from the cieling) as a flare to call the others to him.))
2007-04-19, 12:37 AM
You could always go down there and help...
Did you see the image Trinark gave of that thing? What the heck were they supposed to do against something like that? But then again...look at what they had already felled..There might be a chance against it..
Thats hopeful talk there...
Well at least feather head is fighting back!
Feather head is probably dead or worse, that lightining bolt wasn't...
"...Gods...what have we been reduced to, fleeing in the dark from anything that frightens or intimidates us..I used to laugh at things like that creature.."
Despite every natural instinct that was begging him to keep moving, a small flare of nobility that he had thought long since buried was just beginning to flare up. He could attempt to help the others who were still alive return back to the whole. It couldn't be that hard, could it? Just some cover fire...and perhaps discovering the source of that lightening bolt.
"CURSED DARKNESS! FEATHER HEAD, ADALMAR, TRINARK, DRUID! GET YOUR ARSES BACK HERE THIS INSTANT!" It was all that he could do. What else could he do? Detecting the thoughts of others wouldn't help in the least if he wasn't close enough to read them...and being that close might be more then a little bit hazardous and blindly blasting lightening into the darkness was just as bad...
"Hey, Shiney. I need your help for the moment. You and I are going to take a stand here until the others come back. Yix!...Yix? Well...were ever you are, I want you to keep in range of your telepathy as long as possible so you can tell us if anything goes wrong. Aeroz, Katrin, Ackby, and Elthan...keep going. Once you get out of telepathy range we'll be right along if we have the others or not, but not all of us can stay here waiting for our missing companions. Elthan...don't even think, not ONCE, about darkening things up with your special 'talent'. That's the last thing we need."
A few stalagmites away, his shivering body hugging the stone, Adalmar hears Khazrael's call. Is it a trap ? I can't afford to trust him.
Then he hears the sorcerer moving away. Letting a few seconds pass, he follows suit, silently, though he takes care to follow a slightly different path. The first few "steps"* he can take in the dark, his mind having recorded the layout of the place - this specialized memory comes naturally to people living in the wilderness. After that, though, he is reduced to taking out the torch again, though he mutes its glow by hiding it under his cloak. Kir has perched on his shoulder and swings his head from side to side - still focused.
He doesn't hurry, for he is now convinced that his survival is out of his hands - let Fate or the gods judge his worth.
Inside, he is praying for the fallen.
* because he is still climbing...
He's in shock, so his instincts are kicking in, but he's still forgetting to heal himself.
2007-04-19, 07:07 AM
Katrin holds the torch as the small group gets away from the water and onto higher ground. She jumps in surprise at the lightning bold and the lizardman's roar, but keeps going, unsure whether the roar is an illusion or not. "Elthan... don't think we're letting you off just yet. Get back here."
Ssah-thee-yah... that doesn't sound like any language I've heard before...
2007-04-19, 10:50 AM
"How about you call me by my name and then we'll talk about who gives who orders." Tiriel replies to Callos with a scowl. Reaching into her pack she draws out a torch and hands it to Callos.
"Personally I don't' think any of us should wait..." Tiriel grumbles. "I don't like leaving them either, but, well half of them rushed off full knowing what they were facing... Oh damn it all. Five minutes, then we move on."
Tiriel handed Callos a torch, if he can't light it, she'll do it for him.
2007-04-19, 04:54 PM
Trinark is sure that his druid friend has lost the mind battle against the creature. He himself had managed to fight away the white fog that threatened to cloud his mind, spurred on by the howl of Ssetheeya. Now, as he had seen many times before, the creature had turned friend on friend. Fearing it is hopeless Trinark strikes out wildly at his friend, his fist flying wide of it's mark in his supprised state.
"Stop, remember me, remember your friend! It is Trinark!"
[ooc:Will save verses enchantment mind-affection spell-like ability (+2 due to elvishness) (1d20+7=18) (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=987743), Unarmed attack against S-man (1d20+3=10) (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=987767)]
2007-04-19, 05:21 PM
"As much as I hate to say it, we can't afford to wait much longer. We need to get to the Iron Lord as soon as possible. There is just too much at stake here to risk all of us." Aeroz states grimly as he takes a few steps forward.
2007-04-19, 08:00 PM
Ooh, nice new... Trogatar?
Achkby, Halfling Sorcerer
"Dammit, Aeroz, yes we can," Achkby snaps back at him.
"You two, don't think I'm leaving you on your own." The halfling's feet are planted as firmly as they ever have been, and he doesn't look like he's going to move without the other two. "There's been too much splitting up already."
2007-04-19, 09:32 PM
Aeroz agrees to wait for a little longer, though having a torch burning in the middle of the cavern seems to be just begging for trouble ...
Miraculously, the lizardman and drow reappear. The druid seems to be half-dragging, half-carrying his drow friend who beats ineffectively against the lizardman's hide with his bare fists. It takes a minute before both of them can be convinced that the other is not under the mind control of the aboleths.
Shortly thereafter, Khazrael straggles in, looking dazed.
And finally, after another minute or two, Adalmar approaches, carrying a torch of his own. The ranger keeps looking behind him, in case he is being followed. The ranger is badly wounded, having been seared by a lightning bolt. Adalmar's eyes fall on Khazrael and his lips tighten with anger ...
Thokk's and Lumpy's whereabouts remain unknown. Also lost are Fizahn and Lissa. Taking a quick head count, you realize that Yix isn't here either. Where could the pseudodragon be?
Suddenly desperate images pop into your heads. It takes a moment to orient yourself, then you realize that you are seeing through Yix's eyes ...
Lissa stands ankle deep in the stream, motionless before a flickering pattern of lights dancing in the air before her. Lumpy approaches slowly from downstream, his boots splashing in the water.
Yix/you soar forward towards Lumpy, you can hear your/Yix's voice in your/Yix's ears - a hiss of warning.
Just before you/he reach Lumpy, the half-orc shimmers and drops his disguise, seeming to blossom into the enormous form of an aboleth. A tentacle reaches out and slaps you/Yix before you/he can react.
The loud piercing scream echoes in your/Yix's head and doubly rebound as you hear the scream in your actual ears, delayed by a few microseconds.
You/Yix hit the ground. From the ground, you see Lissa shake herself out of her stupor. Seeing the aboleth before her, she shrieks (which you again hear twice - once in Yix's head, then a split second later in your own) and scrambles backwards upstream.
You/Yix turn back to see the aboleth approaching, like an enormous amphibious mountain. It lifts another tentacle slowly, then drops it down upon you like a hammer ...
The link is broken. You quickly re-orient yourself. The screams seemed to come from just up ahead.
Dashing forward, you stop short just before a sharp dropoff. Below you is a tributary of the stream. You see Lissa scrambling on her hands and knees, splashing in the water, trapped in the gully. The frightened gnome is about 30 feet below you.
Without hesitation, Khazrael dives straight down towards Lissa like a swooping hawk. Words of arcane power on his lips.
((OOC: Jumping down to Lissa and spider climbing her so she can get out of the ravine, then quickly following her. Jump check to reach Lissa and minimize fall damage: 1d20+19=26 (http://invisiblecastle.com/find.py?id=988485)))
2007-04-20, 08:47 AM
OOC: Lissa and Khazrael need to make DC 15 Will saves or else succumb to another hypnotic pattern ...
2007-04-21, 02:41 PM
Khazrael sees the approaching multi-colored lights, but shakes off their effects. Without waiting to see if Lissa again falls prey to the hypnotic pattern, he wraps his arms about the small gnome and bodily drags her up out of the ravine, where waiting arms pull her to safety.
Retreating somewhat from the edge of the ravine, you reassess your options.
There is at least one aboleth (presumably) back the way you came, and one down in the ravine. Lumpy, Thokk, and Fizahn are missing. Yix is in all likelihood dead (judging from his last mental image).
Adalmar's eyes peer as far as the torchlight allows. Though his ranger skills are primarily honed for the plains and forests of the Great Dale, he is able to pick out a promising trail that leads away from either potential danger.
Moving onward as rapidly as light and terrain allow, you move away from the stream, choosing as parallel an eastward course as you can.
At one point, someone notices that the lizardman is no longer with the party. It appears that at some point, the druid slipped away, presumably to try to rescue his "packmates" left behind. Although this only adds to the sadness and discouragement many of you feel, everyone understands that this was something that the lizardkin druid felt he had to do ...
2007-04-22, 12:33 AM
"EEEEEEEEE!" A frightened shriek is about as coherent as Lissa is going to get right now. She flails ineffectually against Khazrael's grip for a few moments before the brain kicks in and she realizes that this is, indeed, an ally. Or at least he looks like one. Well, if he were a... a... Slimy Blob Of Doom... he would've eaten me by now, right? Right. So it really is Khazrael. Whew. As the stronger members of the party pull the pair to safety, they notice that Lissa has her crossbow out and loaded despite the damp. Looks like she was expecting trouble- up until the appearance of the pretty pretty lights, anyway.
After a minute or two of sobbing, incoherent babbling, and frenzied hugging of any and all party members (except Elthan; evidently he's still on the 'to kill someday' list), Lissa finally manages to calm down enough to tell everyone what happened. "I know now I was being really stupid, but it seemed like such a good idea at the time..." She sighs, pulling off a boot and pouring water out of it as she talks. "I heard the crying, figured it was some sort of illusion, and thought it was a swirfneblin or duergar playing tricks. So like the overconfident fool I was, I decided to find the illusionist and... ah... convince him to stop." Lissa won't look up at anyone, her voice filled with self-loathing and regret. "Stupid little gnome, walked right into the trap. I've seen that hypnotic pattern spell before, you know; we use it in several perimeter traps back home. Didn't save me from getting caught in it though. And then..." Her voice chokes up, and she covers her face with her hands. "Lumpy- except it wasn't him, it was some sort of blob-monster making itself look like him- the Lumpy lookalike came walking up to me, and Yix flew down and hissed at it, and the blob killed him!" Lissa's voice slowly scales up to a wail. "I couldn't do anything! I couldn't even move until Yix screamed!"
He does his best to pretend that his injuries are all he cares about... until he gets to Khazrael. With a ringing sound, his sword comes free, and he points it at Khazrael's chest.
"I think it wasn't really you back there, and I hope you are not possessed anymore. I don't pretend I understand those magics, but know that I'll be watching you."
A short conversation ensues, and Adalmar seems to get the assurances he wants. He nods sharply at the sorcerer : forgiven, but not forgotten.
Taking a wand out, he alleviates the lingering pain of the burns. He gasps in relief.
He finds himself at the back of the group. He can only guess what happens, another of Khazrael's reckless rescue attempts.
But when he sees Lissa coming back up, he can't help the small smile that comes to his face - despite all those senseless deaths, those people he will mourn before he ever got to know them.
Kir pecks his neck gently, and he looks up to find his disheveled companions. Hey, we are all lost. Perhaps I can provide some guidance...
He gestures wordlessly to the path he thinks he can see.
The lizardman's disparition is just another blow to his heart that he refuses to acknowledge.
CLW (2 charges) : [roll0] [roll1]
edit: okay, make that 3 or 4 charges - I'll roll them later
2007-04-23, 07:22 AM
Katrin keeps her hand on her sword until Lissa's explanation is over, unsure whether or not Khazrael or Lissa is 'posessed', as Aldamar put it. The gnome's frantic explanation matched up with what Yix had projected in their minds, and her actions certainly seemed to be in-character.
Katrin is saddened when she notices the lizardman's disappearance. If he has gone to fight the aboleth, at least he will have died fighting; it's probably the way he would have wanted to go. He will be sorely missed.
2007-04-23, 09:00 AM
Between Trinark's native knowledge of the Underdark and Adalmar's skills as a pathfinder, your (diminished) group is able to work its way to the east (more or less), wending around enormous pillars of stone and stalagmites, clambering over fallen stalactites, and sliding down frozen stone "waterfalls".
The torchlight reflects off of multi-colored sheets and curtains of rock hanging from the ceiling and you catch occasional sparkles that hint at rare gems perhaps embedded in the stone.
Under different circumstances the journey would be a marvelous experience, but in this case the wonders of this Underdark passage pass mostly uncommented upon.
While underground you find it difficult to judge the passage of time. It is not clear how many days pass, though you find yourselves soon depleted of water.
Trinark and Adalmar keep you on a gradually ascending path, and eventually you are rewarded by a faint glow in the distance, signifying light ahead. The ambient temperature suddenly drops, reminding you that while the air underground was cool but fairly comfortable, it is still wintertime on the surface ...
And, suddenly, there it is - daylight. You turn a final corner and find yourself in a roughly circular shaft approximately 100 feet across and 30 feet deep. Above you is open sky, blindingly blue and bright to your dark-adapted eyes. You are standing at the bottom of a sinkhole or collapsed cave.
Fresh snow lies on the rocks. Several of you shiver and dig out your cold weather gear once again.
2007-04-23, 11:46 AM
Sorry, exams. Will be back in full posting force Wednesday morning.
Achkby, Halfling Sorcerer
Achkby welcomes Lissa back at least as eagerly as the others, but remains subdued the rest of their journey. Yix's loss has hurt him deeply. The little dragon had saved his life only moments before, and died rescuing Lissa. What, really, had Achkby done for him?
As Achkby wraps himself in layers of cloth, he suggests, "Perhaps Tiriel, you should go up, and see what's there."
2007-04-23, 03:24 PM
"I find it truly amazing that the multiverse itself conspires to slow our progress. First vampires, then aboleths, and now a pit...why did we come out in a pit in any case...Trinark? Care to shed some light on this dilemma? Why does an entrance to the Underdark connect with a pit?" Comes the dry comment from Callos as he brushes some dirt and snow from his clothing with a sour expression on his face. For all intents and purposes it almost looks as if it looks as if he has recovered from his bout of mental collapse in the earth below. Perhaps it had been because of the regression underground and so recently after he had managed to get out of it.
Hmm...this is excellent weather actually...but I'm not quite sure this is the right time for my little project. Later..if its still cold...and after I've mind scanned Elthan and the strangers to try and clear up some of this forsaken mess of an adventuring group.
2007-04-23, 05:03 PM
"I'm gonna have to agree with Callos here. Someone upstairs definitely does not like us one bit." Aeroz states grimly as he dons a thick cloak.
This is starting to become a little much. Too many people are dying, and worse, too many people who have kept us together are dying. First Sedryn, now Thokk and Lumpy, and even the little rat-dragon...
"Could anyone give us a good estimate of how close we are to where we need to be?"
2007-04-23, 07:02 PM
"Well to do that, we need to get up there first. Who still has a rope? If it's safe I can anchor the rope and we can all get out of here. If not, I guess I could carry people one at a time. A rope would be faster though."
ooc: I think Tiriel's rope+grappling hook was lost during the whole waterfall episode... I'm assuming that one of us still has one?
2007-04-23, 07:29 PM
Upon hearing of their friends' disappearance, Lissa reacts with uncharacteristic silence. She withdraws into herself for some time, only speaking when necessary; quite unusual for the gregarious gnome. Soft-spoken Gnomish prayers are heard more often than usual, and a crude altar similar to the one back in the besieged town hall pops up at the party's first campsite. Five gold coins, one for each lost comrade, adorn its rough stone surface.
...may you hear the song of the Earthcaller guiding you to the Last Home; may the Cloakshadow obscure your passage from those of evil intent; may the Watchful Protector walk at your side; and may we meet again someday in the World Beyond...
Pausing with one leg into her cold-weather leggings, Lissa balances on one foot for a few moments as she rummages in the haversack lying open before her. A large coil of pale silken rope emerges, along with a grappling hook. "There we go!" The gnome tosses both articles over in Tiriel's direction, figuring that Tiriel can probably throw the hook farther than Lissa herself can. Lissa squints up at the walls of the hole with a practiced eye, then nods and returns to the task of getting fur leggings on over leather armor. "Looks to be about three or four stories high. That piece of rope is plenty long enough."
2007-04-24, 07:53 AM
It doesn't take too long to get a rope up to the surface and for each member of the party to climb up out of the sinkhole. Stoically, Trinark again dons a heavy cloak, covering his head with a cowl to protect himself from the sun.
The sky is clear and cold, and the ground is covered in fresh snow. You stand on a flat plain. To the east the plain ends suddenly at a sharp cliff. Hundreds of feet down below is Lake Ashane, the Lake of Tears. Sea birds wheel and screech overhead.
You have an unobstructed view to the east. The Lake appears to be frozen over, at least as far as you can see from the clifftop. Whether it is frozen across its entire width is unclear. As you look out across the flat white surface of the frozen Lake, a low groaning occasionally reaches your ears as the ice subtly shifts.
To the north, along the cliff edge, you can see a black stone watchtower. Turning to the south, you see another watchtower just visible at the horizon. Adalmar recognizes them. These ancient towers are common along the western coast of Lake Ashane, relics of a long-forgotten empire.
To the west, the plain stretches featurelessly as far as you can see. Smudges of black smoke rise up ominously from beyond the horizon, reminding you that an army of drow and demons is not that far behind you ...
In the span between the escape from the aboleth and the trip out of the caverns, Khazrael says little, outside of a brief apology to Adalmar for the lightning bolt incident.
He makes no mention of what took place below, but his gaze is all ice and daggers whenever it falls on Tiriel or Callos. He only seems to relax in the presence of Adalmar or Lissa, though he only barely hides his dismay at her shrines and prayers.
His spirits rise when he sees the sky again. He's one of the first to climb the rope and as the others take stock of their surroundings, he stretches his bare arms to the sky and laughs, staring at the birds as he does so.
2007-04-24, 04:48 PM
Elthan was silent upon reaching the surface in the same way as he was on the way to it. He takes a quick look around, noting the two towers, then puts his head back down as he begins mouthing to himself.
He mulls around in a circle while waiting for the next few members of the group to finish climbing up before examining the view to the west. After an intense stare at the frostscape, he turns around and gives a likewise eye towards the lake. For a few moments some sound forms at his mouth as he begins to mumble, then stops.
In a dry voice, he utters, "It's empty."
Every morning and every night, he kneels and does the usual devotions to Mielikki, but his heart is not really in it, and he can't seem to feel her presence in the dark caves.
He lights up visibly when the daylight bathes his face again. Kir went ahead of him, soaring in the sky.
He falls back unconsciously to his habits, scouting ahead and looking for landmarks that would tell him how far North they ended up.
2007-04-24, 06:16 PM
There is little talking until they reach the sunlight. Once again under the open sky Tiriel feels safer though the winter sun does little to disperse the anger and frustration she feels about what happened in the waterfall cave.
Tiriel has little trouble catching the foul looks Khazrael throws her way during their retreat. Tiriel figures that he either doesn't realize that she can see him, or he's stupid. Stupid wins out when Khazael's habit continues above ground, in daylight.
The next time Khaz looks at her, Tiriel returns his look, "If you have something to say then say it. Otherwise keep your eyes pointed elsewhere."
ooc: if Khaz is smart enough to stop once they're out of the cave, let me know and I'll delete that last part.
2007-04-24, 08:05 PM
Katrin shivers at the cold and pulls on a heavy cloak from her Handy Haversack. She looks up gratefully at the sun.
She remains silent after ascending to the surface, not knowing what to say. She paces around in the snow, every so often glancing over to the lake.
(OOC: Katrin dons her cold weather clothes.)
"You shouldn't need words. Not now." His eyes drift again to the birds. "You have wings, yet you don't fly."
His scowl fades and his gaze returns to the birds. The icy breeze tosses his hair about, the feathers within bending and leaning, but never coming free. His light sleevless shirt billows like a flag. He waits for a reply, but halfheartedly. A part of him seems lost on the wind.
2007-04-25, 11:16 AM
Achkby, Halfling Sorcerer
I meant before the rest of us went up! By all the mighty gods, how thick can she be? No use in scouting the area once the rest of us are already there. Yix understood -- and they think humans are smarter than four-legged creatures?
Achkby doesn't seem eager to queue for the climb, and ascends toward the end of the group. While he's pleased to be back on familiar ground, he rather wishes it wasn't frozen. He's from the south, after all, and while they had snow, it was nothing like this.
"Which side are we on?" he asks suddenly.
2007-04-25, 12:40 PM
Adalmar has already oriented himself by the movement of the sun. The ranger assures Achkby that they are all still on the western shore of Lake Ashane and haven't miraculously crossed under the Lake. In fact, the very idea of such an underground lake crossing strikes the ranger as quite humorous.
A quick survey reveals no signs of nearby life other than the seabirds in the sky.
A clatter of stone catches Aeroz's attention. The elf hisses a warning to everyone else, and calls their attention back to the sinkhole.
A misshapen crooked figure moves in the shadows at the bottom of the pit. Someone or something appears to have followed you out from the Underdark ...
2007-04-25, 04:09 PM
"That's because large flying targets are rather obvious and ..." She stops at Aeroz's warning. Glancing down the sinkhole reveals some...thing, probaly not a "someone." Tiriel quickly reels in the rope hanging over the lip of the hole.
2007-04-25, 07:41 PM
He may have been slow to move over to the edge of the pit but when he did, those opal eyes began to burn with more then a little bit of anger and he cracked his fingers slowly. And when he spoke, it was much like Lumpy's gravelly voice.
"Unless your a misshapen and grouchy half-orc, you have about three seconds to convince not to turn you into a living lightening rod. Now waggle that tongue of yours if your able!" He snapped out even as he pulled his spellbook out from his belt.
Khazrael looks expectantly at Trinark. "Use your faerie fire so we can see him. It might be Lumpy."
2007-04-26, 07:01 AM
Katrin highly doubts that the misshapen figure in the sinkhole is Lumpy, and she draws and loads her crossbow, although she does not aim at the figure, at least until she is certain what it is.
2007-04-26, 08:19 AM
The figure's head snaps up at the appearance of voices upon the sinkhole's rim, eyes glittering darkly in the shadows. It roars a belligerant response, not initially apparent as words over the great distance,
"Don't think I can't hit yer ugly mug with a rock from here, mage! Quit messing around!"
2007-04-26, 10:10 AM
Ahh, the sound of party members bickering in the morning. The sound of home... you know, that's kind of disturbing once Lissa thinks about it. She tries to calculate how long she's been on the road now as she wades through the snow. Two years? Maybe three. Too long, at any rate. I hope my home is still there when we're done... Lissa firmly pushes away such gloomy thoughts into a dark mental corner.
Upon spotting the figure, Lissa swiftly crouches behind a rock and aims her crossbow, squinting into the darkness. "Hey, that looks kinda familiar... LUMPY!" Then she frowns. "How do we know you aren't that blob-thingy trying to come up and eat us? It disguised itself as you before!", the gnome shouts down. "Tell us something only the real Lumpy knows!"
2007-04-26, 10:39 AM
Why the hell did y'all assume it was Lumpy rather than, say, Thokk?
Achkby, Halfling Sorcerer
Achkby follows the others back to the hole, peering down over Lissa's shoulder at whatever has emerged from the tunnels behind them.
"It was a fish," he whispers to Lissa.
2007-04-26, 10:48 AM
Nonplussed, the figure folds its arms, roaring back a response to Lissa's query
"Lessee, I been torn up by more different sort of things in the past few months than I have in the entirety of my life prior ta them. Lemme know when ya've got enough!" He begins to recite a list, business-like,
"Drow, driders, zombies, statues, ghosts, demons, hydras, a troll, skeletons, vampires, bats.. BATS, and one overlarge fish with a propensity fer giving me a headache. That cover it? Or how about: My birth name is Edgar. Ask the elf!"
2007-04-26, 03:52 PM
"The fish could have easily found that out! Here's one the it probably wouldn't have thought of: What was the name of that weird city in the underdark that had that shadow forest? Answer that and I'll be damn sure it's you." Aeroz calls out to Lumpy.
2007-04-26, 04:00 PM
"Hells, I don't even know that one. More important things on ym mind at the time than what flying gnomes name their cities."
2007-04-26, 05:44 PM
Tiriel looks in confusion between Aeroz and the could-be-Lumpy.
"Callos, what we saw back in the cave, that was an illusion right? Because those fish-things don't look like they could climb ropes... but half-orcs can."
"Oh for Malcanthet's sake, someone just let him up already! Hasn't he been through enough, what with you all leaving him behind?"
2007-04-27, 04:02 PM
Interestingly, the fact that Lumpy can't remember the name of the gloaming city reassured Aeroz more than if the half-orc actually had been able to retrieve that trivia from his cortex.
The elf nods to Khazrael, and soon the rope is lowered back down into the pit and Lumpy is warmly reunited with the group.
The half-orc notes the missing party members - Fizahn, Thokk, the lizardman, and Yix - without comment.
Once all are reassured that Lumpy is indeed well and himself, you turn your attention again to the two towers - the closer one to the north, and the farther one to the south. Lumpy peers over the edge of the cliff. The frozen lake lies hundreds of feet down. There is no obvious path down to sea/lake-level.
2007-04-27, 07:41 PM
There was an almost rakish smile on his face when the half-orc was pulled out of the pit, even if he was more then a little bit suspicious behind the expression. After all how couldn't he be? But it didn't keep him from welcoming the fact that another one of their number had in fact returned to them. And from having a little fun at Lumpy's expense.
"Who are you calling ugly, ugly? It's nice to see you again though Lumpy, how'd you escape by the way?...And you won't mind me scanning your mind...just to be sure, will you?"
He listens incredulously to the bickering among the group - though he is beginning to understand it is their way of coping with... well, everything.
"Hmm, shall" He coughs, getting his voice back. "Shall we try to go to the closest tower ? We'd get a better view of the lay of this shore."
Khazrael nods to Adalmar. "We might also be able to see the advancing army, if they're close enough. It could be important to know what they're doing."
2007-04-28, 03:50 PM
Though at first Elthan seems to cheer up at the mention that one of their friends had survived, he quickly returns to his former state upon confirming the identity. When Lumpy reaches the top, Elthan does his best to avoid eye contact, hiding his face whenever he feels Lumpys gaze.
With his head down, he faces the nearest tower and thinks out loud. "It would make sense if one of them had a way down."
2007-04-28, 05:26 PM
"Agreed. There might be some supplies we could use there as well. We should go, it's not good to stay so ...visible."
ooc: what time of day is it?
2007-04-29, 10:43 AM
Achkby, Halfling Sorcerer
Achkby, too, is pleased to see Lumpy again. If nothing else, the half orc is imminently reliable, and his disappearance had been nearly as discombobulating as Yix's.
"I suppose maps would be too much to hope for..." he says as they begin the trudge toward the tower.
2007-04-29, 01:06 PM
Katrin is relieved to see that Lumpy really is alive and well and not an illusion. Lumpy was--is--a valuable member of the group.
Katrin looks around for something to attach a rope to if the group were to descend to the lake.
2007-04-29, 01:42 PM
"LUMPY!" A small leather-clad projectile hurls itself at the half-orc, enveloping one of his legs in a ferocious hug. "Omigods I'm so glad you're not dead! We thought for sure you were, I left the offerings for the dead and everything!" Fortunately for Lumpy, Lissa gets her act together in fairly short order and releases his leg, beaming up at him before resuming her watch for approaching enemies.
Hearing Callos' comment about mind scans, Lissa gives the necromancer a mischievous grin- something that's been all too lacking in the past few days. "Oh ho, you want to scan our minds, do you? Go right ahead, I'm sure you'll like today's mental image even more than you did the last one!" She bursts into giggles at the thought.
Lissa nods in agreement with the plan to head for a tower. "Good idea, Adalmar. If nothing else, it'll give us somewhere to hole up if those vampires show up again." She rubs the back of her neck uneasily. "Speaking of which, have any of you magely types come up with an idea for getting this evil rune off of me?"
"I don't know the first thing about getting rid of curses, sorry. Isn't that the kind of thing you religious types usually handle?"
2007-04-29, 03:14 PM
Lumpy seems unscarred in every sense of the word, neither his already-marred visage or taciturn nature damaged by the encounter in the caverns. He is quick and to the point in dealing with the greetings and concerns of others, only accentuating the urgency of their position,
His response to Callos is perhaps the longest, "I didn't escape on account'a I weren't never caught. Never caught the dwarf though, and once the fish started handing out headaches what'd make yer nose bleed, I cut my losses. Just took me longer ta circle back around and find yer trail. And I do mind, a lot. Take my word or don't, but I submit ta nothing no more than ya'd submit ta me torturing ya. . . Just ta be sure."
Inititally, he has no words for Lissa, though he seems to have to resist the urge to pat her on the head when she grabs him. Afterwards, he presses a gold coin into her palm with a knowing nod, "I appreciated the offer, but don't count me out yet."
His final point of business addresses a concern not voiced, but one that hung in the air like a fog around them,
"The tower'll do fer now, long as we ain't hanging about too long.A quick hole-up." A hard eye turns to Elthan, "We got sorting out ta do before we go any further."
2007-04-29, 04:49 PM
A critical look was in his eyes as the wizard looked over Lumpy with just a little hint of suspiscion in his eyes but gave a slow nod. After all, just how had he managed to avoid the fish abomination's mental attack and make his escape? Not that he didn't think the half-orc could do it...just that it didn't seem very likely. Maybe all he'd have to do is keep an eye on Lumpy in the future...like he should have with Elthan. A slight pang of guilt fluttered through him but it didn't keep a rakish grin from coming to his face when he looked over to Lissa.
"Don't tempt me Lissa. I'm sure the world would love to know more about gnome/halfling relationships...could probably even make a couple good book deals on it if I market it right. Heh, well that'd definitly be one way to get some gold in my pouch."
However the statement from Lumpy caused him to whip his head around to look at the misshapen half-orc and shook his head. "No. No, we don't. I trust the fact your not mentally dominated, you'll have to trust me with what Elthan did and how to fix it. Of course thats assuming its still the same as when I last was told about it."
2007-04-29, 05:20 PM
Achkby, Halfling Sorcerer
Achkby does his best to sink into the snow, but can't suppress the broad smile that takes hold of his cheeks.
2007-04-29, 08:53 PM
There isn't enough rope to make a direct descent down the cliff face. Plus the party could probably use another night of rest before tackling the frozen Lake.
It is some hours past noon, Adalmar reckons. The party decides to head for the northern tower, which appears to be closer than the one to the south.
The trip there takes longer than one might have expected. The tower is much larger than it first seemed from a distance. It is almost dusk by the time you reach the tower. The ancient stone is bathed in an orange-red light from the setting sun to the west.
The walls are sheer and featureless, with no visible windows. There is also no obvious door.
As the sun begins to disappear over the horizon, the temperature drops noticably ...
Despite the freezing temperatures, Khazrael doesn't put on any extra clothing. He barely seems to notice that the icy wind should be chapping the skin clean off of his bare arms. While the group surveys the tower, he munches on a handful of snow to stave off thirst.
"I can scale the side and look up top. Or I guess I could cast my climbing spell on Lumpy. Anyone else have any ideas?"
2007-04-30, 10:25 AM
"I recall my father once telling me that some of the most cunning and intelligent architects would put place escape routs and back doors in the most obvious of places."Aeroz states as he moves forward and knocks on the obelisk.
"This is still going under the assumption that this is a dwelling or a lookout. It could just be a glorified lawn decoration for all we know. It could even belong to Sethra or one of his cronies."
2007-04-30, 10:55 AM
Adalmar knows little about these towers other than that they line the coast at relatively regular intervals and that they've been here for as long as his people can remember.
For the most part his people avoided them, if only because no one ever figured out a way to get inside.
Looking up at the tower from its base is a bit dizzying.
As Aeroz knocks on the stone, he notes that the black rock appears to have been fitted together without mortar. On the west side (away from the Lake), Aeroz finds a larger door-sided stone that might represent some sort of entrace, albeit one with no handles or hinges ...
He sighs. "Well, I suppose it can't hurt to try. Perhaps in our hour of need we'll find a way to get in."
He starts examining every inch of stone around the door-like stone.
Take 20 on Search : 28
Khazrael stares at the door, uttering a few quipped phrases as he does so.
((OOC: Casting Detect Magic and first checking the door, then pacing around the tower to find any sort of lingering spells or anything on it. My spider climb offer still stands.))
2007-04-30, 08:51 PM
Tiriel nods in agreement with Aeroz. "I'll check higher up, there may be an entrance we can't see from here."
She takes a few steps back before launching herself in the air. As she climbs the height of the tower, using strong steady wing beats, she looks for loss stones or a window before proceeding to the roof.
2007-04-30, 09:41 PM
Katrin also begins to examine the stone of the tower, adding her sharp eyes to the search.
2007-05-01, 06:00 PM
Achkby, Halfling Sorcerer
Achkby raises his hands to cast a spell, but Khazrael beats him to it. He is content to wait for the others to take care of things, as usual.
2007-05-01, 09:20 PM
Tiriel spirals upward around the tower until she reaches its top. The smooth black stone of the tower walls are completely featureless. The tip of the tower is a smooth flat circle with a low parapet. A round black stone is set in the center of the floor - presumably a trap door of some kind.
She touches down gently and spends a few seconds admiring the view. From her vantage point, she can just make out the last few rays of the sun as it drops below the horizon. In the distance she can spot another tower to the north and, of course, a tower to the south. Looking down, she sees that the base of the tower is already shrouded in darkness.
Down below, Adalmar and Katrin examine the base of the tower closely. Khazrael stares at the door. His eyes seem to almost glow for a moment as he whispers the words to a simple spell.
Khazrael is surprised to find that the tower does not radiate magic in any way. In fact, if anything, the tower almost seems to disappear from his view when he taps into the weave.
He blinks, puzzled. Before he lets the spell go, he sees a strange kind of afterimage. The blank door has been marked - Khazrael sees a stylized drawing of an angel. The angel is upside down, as if falling ...
Elthan steps forward to examine the door as well. The half-elf reaches out a hand and touches the door. Silently, the door slide inward and upward, disappearing into darkness. The doorway stands open before him.
"Everyone, be careful. The tower seems disconnected from the weave. I've never seen anything like it."
His eyes shoot to Tiriel.
"There's a picture of one of you guys on the door. Looks like it's dead or falling out of the sky or something."
He slips his knife out of his belt and watches Elthan, unsure of how he managed to open it.
2007-05-02, 12:07 AM
Lissa eyes the now-open door with distrust, then gives Elthan a hard look. "Interesting, that the resident murdering mage should be able to open a tower that's 'disconnected from the Weave'." Her voice takes on a poisonously false sweetness. "Would you care to enlighten us on that topic, Elthan dear? Or would that mean admitting the reason why you slaughtered a man who placed his trust in your hands? There's stories about what an unprincipled mage can do with the power of bloodshed, you know." The gnome caresses the stock of her loaded crossbow. Obviously, Lissa has neither forgiven nor forgotten. She gives Elthan one last brilliant, hard smile, then focuses her attention on the dark opening.
"Dark in there; not surprising, really." With a few words of Gnomish and a spiraling gesture, Lissa's signature quartet of pastel-colored dancing lights pop into existence above her head. She points toward the door, and the floating balls of light zoom in, hovering about 5 feet inside the entrance.
2007-05-02, 07:09 AM
"The tower is disconnected from ...magic? I'm no expert on spellcasting, far from it, but how could the tower be visible to our eyes but disappear when someone looks at it with magic? Wouldn't it have to be magical itself? And if it was, then couldn't someone see the magic that hides it?"
Katrin is immediately suspicious when Elthan opens the door with only a touch. She grasps her still-loaded crossbow and backs away from the doorway.
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