View Full Version : [D&D 3.5e] Descent into Darkness IC
10-18-2012, 02:52 AM
Descent into Darkness 3.5e Core Campaign
OOC Thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=258755) -- Character Sheets, Stat Blocks and more!
After pressing his ducal claim on the nearby county of Torydale, Paul has added substantially to his realm. He plans to set up a seat of power in the abandoned keep, that he might have another vassal. He and his men cleared it out of the goblins and creatures living in it. As the construction teams moved in, they were attacked from below by raiders. Further inspection revealed that the cellars of the castle fade into a honeycombed system of dark caverns.
With most of his men occupied, and those at the castle already busy with dealing with the raiders and defending the workmen, he's had to find another way to clear out this dungeon. The Duke decided to hire sellswords, ask the priesthood for crusaders, call in old favors, and find mages via his court Wizard. In other words, he's decided to hire you to do the job.
Over the course of the last week, you've trickled into Castle City Pory, and Duke Paul has arranged for your stay at The Keystone, a modest but comfortable Inn in the castle district. As the last of you arrive, the Duke has summoned you to his court at noon-day to discuss the terms of your employment. Hopefully he will provide you with whatever resources are necessary. It's the 70th day of Summer, but even now the brisk Albian air reminds you of the cold winters this place experiences.
A moment of background: Chroisburg is a Duchy that currently includes the County of Chroisburg and the County of Torydale. Paul of Chroisburg is both the Duke of Chroisburg and the Count of Chroisburg-- he gained the former title by pressing an ancestral claim on Torydale. His brother Reginald is the de jure Count of Torydale, but without vassals and a castle of his own, he stays at Paul's court. At a modest personal expense, Paul has arranged for reclamation of the ancient Dwarf-Keep in the Torydale hills. By establishing a seat of power for his brother, he creates a valuable vassalage and will likely profit from it. His fealty to Albia, and King Ghrep, are unwavering, as is his loyalty to Emperor Zaiv and The Empire.
10-18-2012, 02:53 AM
Land politics aside, you each have your reasons for being here. Now that you've all arrived, you have time to talk to each other over breakfast (paid for by the Duke!) before meeting with the man himself. The five of you immediately know some things about each other, from your reputations and appearances.
Hixion: Your scarred, shaved, tattooed form visibly frightens and shakes several other guests at the inn. However, the inn staff treat you with respect and awe, and your calculated courtesy soothes them quickly. They know you are not to be trifled with. A powerful sellsword for the Duke to use indeed.
Bargol: Your facial and cranial hair are vastly out of sync with the human styles in this land, but that doesn't stop you from developing a reputation as a competent problem-solver. Your gruff and terse attitude makes few friends. The inn staff visibly dislikes you but serves you anyways. The Duke's paying for your stay so there is little they can do. The fact that you call the serving-girl "left-ear" doesn't help much either-- the first time you did it, she cried in the back room for 30 minutes.
Eirin: You were last in Chroisburg over 5 years ago, but the innkeeper remembers you as a kind patron. Although nondescript for a halfling, your stature marks you as unusual in these human lands. More than once you caught people eyeing you suspiciously, but with a smile and a wink you win smiles.
Zaroff: Your reputation as a skilled hunter precedes you. Though you are not famous among the common folk, those who ask and listen will hear you rescued the court scribe from wild wolves. The details of the rescue change from telling to telling, but nobody can deny your abilities.
Deinara: Your brown hair and brown traveling clothes cause you to almost melt into the surrounding wood and scenery. That being said, your status as the second daughter of Baron Kojus, who is related by marriage of his second cousin to Paul's sister, is well known. So, even though you are unremarkable-looking the innkeeper recognizes you and treats you with due respect as a noble of a neighboring county. You have only just arrived this morning, the fifth and final hired hand.
The five of you arrive in the private dining room as bowls of stew and slices of the region's distinctive crusty bread, hagleh, are brought in. The Duke expects you in 5 hours, and it's about a half mile from the inn to Pory Keep.
Worque Treadbarrow, the court Wizard, put out a call for traveling mages looking to delve into the depths and clear out monsters and unnatural creatures. The rider who found you and delivered the message gave you his horse so you could reach Pory in time. You just arrived this morning, and will need to return the horse to the Duke's stables when you get the chance.
You have already met with the Duke and negotiated some terms-- you were already in the city when the call for sellswords went out. The Duke is willing to put some of his resources at your disposal in addition to whatever pay you negotiate (diplomacy, but make sure to include terms if you want other favors). You can, of course, renegotiate as part of a group contract once you and the party arrive at the court. How did you spend your negotiating advantage and the week you've had in town?
You've been in town for several days. You know of this dwarf-keep, but unfortunately you never were trained in history or genealogy, so you can't remember anything but it's name: Bloodpages. Someone trained in history, especially Dwarven history, might know more. How did you spend your days leading up to the meeting?
You heard of this opportunity on the open road and arrived two days ago. You have some friends in this town, including a halfling storekeeper named Muffep. You helped her out of a bind in the past, and she has been grateful ever since. Her shop sells sundry goods and glassware, and she'll sell items to you at cost, and fill you in on what she knows about local gossip if you ask. How did you spend the two days before this meeting?
You happened by chance to pass through this area when the call went out for sellswords. Hearing you were in town, the Duke send a messenger requesting your presence the next morning. For your previous services to him, you may be offered more favorable terms. You've been in town for half a day. How did you spend the afternoon and evening before this meeting?
10-18-2012, 04:24 AM
Yay first to choose, I pick Blue
The first thing after arriving in town would be talking to the shopkeeper for informations, I leave him a gold piece for his help.
The rest of the waiting time I will spend mostly at libraries and bookstores looking for something of interest, or some entertainment material.
If it is the case I may offer my services as a healer (free of charge) for the town.
I advertise myself as a common cleric of Brandobaris as not to draw too much attention.
As the five of them entered the dining room Eirin, as usual, was the first to break the silence. "Well, well, what a fine meal we got. It's always good to start the day with a full belly" and smiled at his companion, innocently looking at them trying to observe their rection.
10-18-2012, 07:49 AM
AllWell, I'll take Sienna, then.
DMZaroff isn't very at home in the city. He'll spend the afternoon in the marketplace, offloading whatever meat and skins he has at the moment, and the evening ambling around the city, confident no-one's going to bother him.
"A hearty meal, indeed." Zaroff grinned back at the halfling, and sat down at the table, waiting for the others to be seated before starting to eat.
10-18-2012, 09:28 AM
I suppose I'll take Darkgreen
Deinara acknowledges the halfling's statement with a nod but remains silent as she takes her seat. She had never liked riding at such speeds and the soreness in her muscles was taking a toll on her mood.
10-18-2012, 06:20 PM
All: I shall take dark red, thank you
DM: Hixion would have negotiated towards gaining a position in the dukes court or of any real power. She shall have spended her time talking to the dukes fellows, gaining any info about the areas below them and making good impressions
Hixion watched the others with a critical eye, gingerly munching upon the hagleh more in politeness then anything else.
10-18-2012, 07:30 PM
The stew is hearty and flavorful, if not amazingly subtle. It has mutton, onions, and potatoes, and is lightly spiced with the pungent herbs of the region. It tastes strongly of the gamey mutton, and the warm smell of it fills the room. The hagleh is stiff and questionable, as hagleh is wont to be for those not from the area, but as hagleh goes it is pretty decent.
The dining room itself seems like it was once a large cupboard or pantry that was refitted into an eating space as the inn expanded-- it is an interior room without windows but with two doors. The floor, walls, and ceiling are all made of the same greyish wood that the most of the furniture in The Keystone. The table is made from a deeper, richer wood with a brown finish that has been gradually scuffed away from years of use. Your uncushioned chairs are supportive if not particularly comfortable.
Your knowledge of the courts in this area coupled with your gathering of information gives you some knowledge about the Chroisdale Court. Duke Paul is married to Olanda of Vankmead, and has legal claims on several nearby counties. With his minor levies he has only been able to successfully press his claim on Torydale. He is generally considered a fair but ambitious man. The powerful men at his court:
Minister Erondalis, Elf preacher who advised Paul's father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He is an enigma, but has the Duke's ear. You recognize his holy symbol as that of Corellon Larethian, head of the elven pantheon.
Count Reginald of Torydale, Paul's brother. He is known for his cruelty but his efficiency. He seeks his own County.
Kaimes of Chroisburg, Paul's eldest son. He is known for his sloth. He is heir to the throne, and has two sister and two brothers.
Duchess-Mother Wembre of Chroisburg, Paul's mother. She is less and less active in court politics.
After long discussion, Count Reginald of Torydale offers you a knighthood at his court once the castle is made ready for him. Knighthood would make you a noble, and grants you the right to own a domain, cast votes for changes in crown law, and compete in knight's competitions.
10-18-2012, 09:05 PM
DM: Those terms serve Hixion well for the initial negotiations. Does she have a firm grasp on who her companions, notably Deinara's noble heritage. If not would a knowledge check be appropriate? Next actions are dependant on this
10-18-2012, 09:32 PM
The stuff not in spoilers in the post above is stuff you already know just from showing up at the inn. Anything else is knowledge checks.
Deinara's noble heritage has been pointed out by the serving-people and is something you're aware of. She is second daughter of Baron Kojus, who is related by marriage of his second cousin to The Duke's sister. To know what exactly this means, who Kojus is, or what these people's history with each other are, is a knowledge (nobility) check.
10-18-2012, 10:20 PM
DM: knowledge (nobility) check [roll0] +6
Hixion twiddled with her necklace, a stylised gauntlet crushing a bundle of arrows, underneath her apparel. Whispering a small prayer to her lord, the woman scanned over the others that sat near her. The smaller two meant little to her, their race already making them beneath her. The hunter was popular amongst the staff, his stardom had potential. The girl though, this Deinara, was very interesting to her. Nobility had their uses.
10-18-2012, 10:58 PM
Her father Kojus owns the very prosperous Barony of Redfell, several Counties over. Deinara has 3 older brothers, one older sister, and one younger sister. She left the court at a young age to pursue magic. Since she is unmarried and not even the eldest daughter, she has been allowed to do as she pleased. Deinara would certainly be on Choisburg's "radar" but he would never marry one of his sons to her, since her station is at least two tiers below that of a Duke. Neither family has any de jure claims on the other's territory, and their relationship is very faint.
She's better known as an adventurer and a wizard-- but her noble lineage afford her certain privileges, including access to courts when she wishes, and the ability to move freely and easily in high society.
The shopkeeper tells you that the bald, tattooed woman (Hixion) has been here for some time, and schmoozing with those in power. The Duke of Chroisburg is rumored to have spread himself and his army too thin with this latest acquisition, and he desperately needs manpower. The others trickled in through the last couple days, but the Dwarf has been around a few days and the Hunter has been selling pelts for the past day.
10-18-2012, 11:31 PM
Dark Slate Gray looks Dwarf-ly
Bargol will spend the days before the meeting attempting to 1) find someone who can tell him about Bloodpages, and 2) getting them to tell him about Bloodpages. Some rolls (because the results of even an awful roll will be <3 )
Bargol accosts the innkeeper, "Where'd I be findin' a dwarf history exp'rt, ye Lice Merchant?"
Bargol, as usual, is first to break his fast. He hollows out a piece of the hagleh to use as a trencher with one hand, and spoons the hot stew into his mouth with the other. "Food's not bad...missin somet'in though."
He jabs his spoon at Hixion, speaking around a mouthful of mutton, "Oy there, Ink-head! Ye look like ye've met a whoopsie at the cuttin-board a time or two, bet ye know yer way 'round the kitchen eh? What's this stew missin'? Figger it out for me eh?"
10-18-2012, 11:52 PM
Bargol's investigations turn up little. Unfortunately, his gruff and aggressive demeanor coupled with his lack of contacts in this particular town do him no favors. He even manages to insult the Duke's librarian by calling the 60-year-old man "book-boy" at an inopportune moment. All he finds is that the castle isn't referred to as Bloodpages by humans.
10-19-2012, 05:54 AM
Eirin was enjoying the meal pacately, at least one the long foks seemed to be friendly, the others were more reserved and he couldn't get much, he let escape a little chuckle a the dwarf comment, and tried to cover it with his next bite of food.
10-19-2012, 06:45 AM
Following the others' lead, Zaroff begins to eat, sometimes discretely sneaking bites of food under the table.
He soon helps himself to seconds, and grins. "I think it's delicious. But then, most food tastes that way after seared wolf. I thought I'd never get that taste out of my mouth." He pulls a disgusted face, and seems about to launch into an (undoubtedly exaggerated) tale of his latest adventures.
10-19-2012, 05:23 PM
Deinara was only half paying attention to the talk, but she'd grown quite adept at seeing opportunity in such a state. After all, the more someone else was talking the less she'd be expected to.
Sounds like there's a story behind that. Why were you eating seared wolf?
10-20-2012, 06:33 AM
"I'm glad you asked." Zaroff says, in between bites. "See, it all started a couple o' days back, when I was tracking this huge boar. Now, any boar is a tough foe to hunt, and this guy was a real monster. But that's another story."
This prelude finished, he started in on the bulk of the story.
"Anyway, one evening, I suddenly heard growls. So I looked up, and blow me if there weren't around 40 wolves surrounding the camp. Now, my bow and sword were over on the other side of the fire, and even with them I wouldn't want to fight the whole pack. So I grabbed my dog and scarpered up the nearest tree."
He pauses and looks around the table, seeming to be checking faces to make sure no-one thinks him a coward for this. Apparently satisfied, he goes back to his tale.
"Now the wolves, see, they liked that jus' fine. These wolves came into my camp, and ate every ounce of food in the place. I had killed a deer the other day, and they ate the whole thing - even the scraps I hadn't finished stripping off the carcass. Waitress! Bring some ale!"
Finishing his second bowl, he takes a break while he waits for drinks to arrive. Taking a massive gulp, he carries on.
"You see, normally I don't mind wolves. Live and let live, I say - one hunter to another, y'know. But we were in the middle o' a blasted wasteland - no game for miles, an' precious little way to live off the land. So once they left, I grabbed my bow and gear, packed up what was left of my camp, and set out to follow them."
The tone of his voice makes it very clear what he intended to do once he caught up.
"I caught up with that pack after, oh, must've been an hour's run. I came in from downwind, so they couldn't smell me coming, an' got myself ready. It weren't long 'fore they came into view. This one wolf - a really ugly blighter - must've been the alpha - charged straight at me. Now, I could'a jus' shot the bleeder, but that would'a been hardly sporting. So I drew my knife an' charged back. An' wouldn't you know it, but right between us was a massive bear pit."
He gestures and sighs at the inevitable unfairness of the world.
"So me an' the wolf, right, we tumbled down there together - with my arms around his neck an' my knife in his gut. I shook myself off, and I tried to get out o' that pit. Now, I consider myself a passin' fair climber, but I couldn't make a lick of progress. So, for a few days until the hunter came by to check his trap, all I had to sustain me was this dead wolf. I got a fire goin' with the wood that'd covered the pit, an cooked it as best as I could, but I've eaten better food from a pigsty."
Grabbing a third bowl of stew and some more of the bread, he digs in. With his mouth full, he explains "So this, mmf, this's delicious."
10-20-2012, 08:25 PM
After your meal together, you gather together your belongings and set out from The Keystone down the road to Pory Keep. The air is crisp and it seems the sort of day when new beginnings are made. The five of you and the dog make good time and arrive well before noon at the center of the city.
From the outside, Pory Keep seems to be more of a walled-in stone mansion than the full-sized castle that a more wealthy Duke might have, and that ought to be at the center of Castle City Pory. Still, the walls are magically treated, and the turrets gleam with markings of magical dwarven-runes once forged and long forgotten, eternally watching over the castle. The portcullis, though lifted today, looks both sturdy and appropriate. You identify yourself to the lone guard, and soon find yourself at Chroisburg Court.
The room itself is grand and oaken, occupied seats and tables around the southern half, through which you entered. You are immediately greeted by the dank smell of people mixed with the sweet scent of the flowers the Duchess has cut and brought in every morning. The windows are thrown open, with several pots and jugs resting on the sills.
An animal-skin carpet adorns the central area, with an elevated area holding the Ducal table and several chairs. During dances, balls, and social events, this is where the Duke's family, advisors and close friends partake. The chairs are ornately carved with hard-to-make out words engraved onto each of them. The table has no cloth on it, but seems not to have stained or worn with the years.
The northern half of the room contains a clear area where court is held, and the Duke's Throne rests. The tables are sparsely filled with petitioners, courtiers, knights, and relatives, all either bored, here on duty, or seeking an audience. You recognize among them Paul's brother Reginald, Count-to-be of Torydale, and Heres Covered, Soldier of Fortune.
Sitting by Paul's throne, standing near him, or advising him directly, are:
Paul himself is a mountain of a man, once a successful soldier before his father passed away. His grim visage features a long scar along his right brow, cutting through his faded red hair. He is dressed in dark silks imported at great expense and is wearing jewelry befitting his station. At his belt is clearly visible a sheathed long blade. He is listening to the petitioner unconcernedly.
Duchess Olanda of Vankmead sits by his side, a stern and beautiful woman. Her dark hair and sharp jawbone only add to the severity displayed by her choice of clothing-- drab colors with jemstones. She is holds a straight length of wood in her hands, about as long and wide as a man's forearm. She is listening to the petitioner with little concern.
Standing from his chair, a soft-featured Elf stands by Paul's side. Dressed in a long clerical robe, he leans heavily on a smooth, polished walking stick. His pale skin and thin, white hair make him seem old, even for an elf, but he is without wrinkles. He is listening to the petitioner with great concern, and nodding slowly.
Behind the throne, those of you with better eyesight can make out a few other figures chatting and generally ignoring the current petitioner. An elderly woman, a large, dark-haired young noble, a soldier, an elderly noble in a gown, and an elderly noble in fashionable dress.
* * *
The petitioner continues his petition concerning the construction of drainage ditches outside the township of Sard. "--and I am sure you will see a notable increase in taxes and levies as a result. It is but a minor investment, and I lack the funds to do it myself. Milord, as your humblest servant I ask that you might consider it."
The man kneels.
Paul extends a hand in the man's direction. "Rise, Mayor Gohus. You plead a reasonable case, and this would certainly be a wise use for my funds. You must be aware, however, that my coffers require that my taxes be paid in full, and on time. And if three of my tax collectors go missing in the roads surrounding a city--"
Blood drains out of the Mayor's face.
"--it seems unwise to burden a mayor with additional responsibilities... especially when he already has difficulty managing his generous domain. I have not seen good reason to provide funds for this project. You are dismissed."
Gohus kneels again. "Thank you, milord."
Paul of Chroisburg says, "who's next on the agenda, Minister?"
The Elf replies, "The sellswords you're hiring to clear out the castle, Milord."
Paul of Chroisburg turns to you. "Ah, yes, good to see you all. For the five of you lot, the terms are: clear the area below the castle out of goblins and fell creatures, and create a map of the cellar network. I'll pay you 10 silvers apiece per day for each day you're down there, plus you can keep two tenths of whatever you find. If you need a weapon, some ammunition, or a suit of armor, I may be able to provide something. Do we have a deal?"
10-20-2012, 11:20 PM
After the debacle that was his fact-finding mission, the Dwarf's wisdom gets the better of him for once. He decides to remain silent for the meeting with Scar-face, and leave the talk to his more successfully vocal companions.
I ne'er been much good at negotiatin' anyways, and 10 silver a day sounds like a fine vein indeed, fer the pleasure of killin' gobbos. Best to keep my mouth shut a'fore I talk meself into workin' fer free again...
10-21-2012, 01:21 PM
Zaroff clears his throat.
"Milord, I carry no mapmaking supplies, though I reckon I could draw a map well enough. Could you supply us with pen and paper?"
10-21-2012, 08:16 PM
Deinara elects to remain silent for the moment. She takes the time the others are spending to talk to consider the offer.
Appraise:[roll0] To see how good a deal we're getting
Knowledge(Nobility and Royalty): [roll1] to recall anything pertinent, including proper modes of address in case she needs to speak up.
10-22-2012, 12:33 AM
The Duke nods. "Of course. Minister Erondalis here will provide you with whatever you need in terms of mapmaking supplies. If you feel that you are unable to make an effective map, perhaps one of the cartographer's apprentices could be spared to come with you."
Deinara thinks about the offer, and has trouble getting a read on how good a deal it is. She (and most of the characters) have a decent background though which gives them some common knowledge: The actual payment, 10 sp / day for each adventurer, would almost certainly be excellent pay for modestly dangerous work such as guarding a caravan or exploring a new territory. If there are indeed raiders, though, it could prove to be much too little. The 2/10ths of the found treasure will likely be substantial and fill that gap. The Duke seems to prefer to pay mostly with found treasure rather than wages due to his budgetary restrictions, or perhaps because he anticipates little treasure will be found. Either way, it seems that negotiating either of these (the wage or the loot share) could be beneficial depending on what the Duke's motives are, in terms of increasing income for the group. There may also be favors or tasks he needs completed, such as the mapmaking, which can be used as bargaining chips.
Non-nobles should address the Duke as Milord or Lord Paul, but a noble (such as Deinara) can address him as Duke Paul or Duke. Someone above him in rank, or in a position to advise him, such as a Minister, a brother of his, a close family member, or another Duke who is on good terms with him, could refer to him just as Paul, especially in private settings.
A non-noble who is not a vassal or subject of him could also address him as Duke Paul, since he is lot their lord-- though this is less polite. It's not frowned upon, but it won't earn any particular favors for unusual politeness.
10-22-2012, 03:21 AM
After hearing the Duke Eirin wasn't particularly pleased, yes the monetary reward seemed fine at a first look, but it seemed to him they were adressed like servants sent to clean the kitchen... nobility.
Luckly for him the intervention of the dwarf and the hunter anticipated his witty remark, and gave him the chance to bite his tongue and try a mostly diplomatic approach.
"Well Milord" he put just a touch of hemphasis in the title, he was not his lord after all "As generous your shining offer, and your support is, I four one would like to ask for a little more information about what we can espect to find during this task"
Eirin tried his hardest not to bee too blatant in his sarcasm, but as well, poking someone nose is a good, albeit risky, way to make them show a little of their true character.
Well, either way I am going in a dungeon I guess.
Sense motive check to get an hunch of the Duke angle.
I guess I will use bolded italic for sarcasm
10-22-2012, 02:12 PM
Duke Paul sneers at Eirin, clearly not pleased by the halfling's tone of voice. "You'd like to know more about what's down there, yes? Well, I suppose we better hire a group of adventurers, tell them to head down into the cellars, clear out the monsters, and make a map!"
He pauses for a moment. "Really, I should be asking you what's going on down there. All we know is that goblin raiders have been attacking my construction crews and disappearing below. There are three entrances to the cellars in the castle, and two of them are boarded up or sealed off."
Eirin perceives that the Duke is trying to invest as few of his own resources as possible in this venture, and he wants it done relatively quickly. He seems to be waiting for or anticipating a certain kind of response from the adventurers, though-- negotiations, requests for resources, or something.
10-22-2012, 02:22 PM
With a wealth of experience in regards to "what comes next" in a situation like this, Bargol steps in to do some quick damage control, and get out of what is fast becoming an uncomfortable spot.
"So er...Where's the hole, Chief? Like to git started right away, and right happy to be doin' it!" He offers what he hopes is a reassuring smile in between his awkward attempts at various gestures of fealty, half-bows, partial salutes, and a tug at his beard.
Can the dwarf make it right? *Doesn't want to look* [roll0]
10-22-2012, 02:45 PM
The Duke stops and grimaces for a moment. "Well, if the terms of the deal are acceptable, Minister Erondalis will produce the contract. Castle Ghand is in the foothills in the north of Torydale. It's about 40 miles over mostly plains and woods terrain with some hills at the end. You should see it at the end of your second day-- it's hard to miss.
While you're at Ghand, you'll be able to draw rations from our supplies and there will be a place for you to sleep, in addition to your wages. What do you say? Do we have a deal?"
10-22-2012, 03:07 PM
Enough ego to resent the remark and enough wit to respond with snark instead of rage, and something else that Eiring could not quite grasp, an interesting combination all in all, although he wasn't particularly inventive with the invettive.
Time to smooth the waters.
"On my part I accept your conditions, but If I may offer a suggestion I would deem unwise to send an apprentice in such a dangerous situation. I too have some skills in such a task and I believe we could perform this request on our own, relieving of the burden" e declared in a quiet tone.
10-22-2012, 03:43 PM
Duke Paul shifts on his throne, raising an eyebrow at the halfling. "Very well-- Minister?"
The Elf raises a hand, and a servant comes running with a sheet of sturdy reed paper, and inkwell, and a large inkpen. A middle-aged human comes forwards from the side, dragging a table with him. He begins scribbling furiously as the Minister dictates, in lightly accented Common:
"This contract authorizes the entry into Castle Ghand of Deinara of Redfell, Zaroff the Hunter, Bargol Rockdropper, Eirin Blownleaf, and Hixion the Sellsword (hereby referred to as The Sellswords) by The Duke Paul of Chroisburg.
For a price of 50 silver pieces per day, The Sellswords will enter the cellar area and defeat any monsters and goblin raiders they find. The Sellswords are entitled to 2 of every 10 parts wealth they find in the cellar area-- the remaining 8 of every 10 parts wealth is due to the Duke of Chroisburg.
Additionally, Duke Paul of Chroisburg will provide map-making necessities to The Sellswords. Addtionally, The Duke of Chroisburg will provide food and lodging to The Sellswords.
Once the cellar area is safe and a map has been produced, this contract will be completed. This contract can be voided at any time by Duke Paul of Chroisburg. If the contract is voided, The Sellswords are liable for the 8 of every 10 parts wealth, but not for the production of the map or the clearing-out of the monsters and goblin raiders. The Duke of Chroisburg is liable for wages, food, and lodging before the time of voiding, but not after.
The undersigned do so agree to this contract, binding under the laws of Chroisburg, Albia, and The Empire."
The scribe writes it out carefully on the large, sturdy paper-- first in the Common Script, then in Dwarven Script, and at the bottom there are spaces for 8 signatures or marks: The Duke, The Minister, the Sellswords (5), and a Witness.
10-22-2012, 04:44 PM
"Lets get this show on the road!"
Zaroff steps forwards, relieves the scribe of his pen, and writes his name with a large flourish.
10-22-2012, 10:07 PM
Bargol strides forward, giving the moment great import. He bites the tip of his thumb and smears his name across the signature block. "That's that then. A dwarf's word is gold, an' his blood is better. Ye have me bond."
10-23-2012, 09:39 AM
Deinara approaches the clerk and signs her name with the neatness of a practiced scribe.
10-24-2012, 02:46 AM
Eiring gets in line smiling, to put his signature on the contract.
10-25-2012, 04:39 PM
Hixion goes up to sign, but then stops and briefly discusses something with Duke Paul in a hushed voice. The Duke nods, and slashes out the 5th line for sellswords on the document.
"I have another task for Hixion that is more suited to her skills. The four of you, however, shall do quite nicely at this." The Duke signs with a flourish, and Minister Erondalis signs with grace. The court scribe bears witness and with his signature the contract is made legal. He rolls it, seals it, and packs it into a scroll tube, presumably to be stored in the Ducal Archives.
There is a light pattering of polite applause, the applause you get from a somewhat bored audience who is forced to applaud every time the Duke does something. The Duke spreads his arms and says, "may the gods bless your work! Some construction laborers will be leaving for Torydale in the morning-- if you'd like, you can travel with them. It's a pleasure doing business, friends. Your lodging for tonight has been arranged at The Keystone."
Evidently, this was a dismissal from the Duke, as the Crier announces the next petitioner-- a merchant asking for a unique permit of some sort-- and you are ushered out of the audience area by the court scribe. He pushes several rolls of sturdy canvas and paper as well as an inkpen and ink into Eirin's hands. "You said you wanted this. If you need more, come and talk to me-- my shop is on the Wall-way."
It's early afternoon, and the workers leave tomorrow at dawn. You can leave for Castle Ghand now, or wait until they leave. Also, if there's anything you want to do before leaving Castle City Pory, this is your chance to do so.
You've gained 10 sheets of canvas, 3 bottles of ink, and an inkpen(no weight). You found that the scribe pushed some paper into your hands as well. It reads: "Not many are willing to stand up or talk back to the Duke. He is a powerful man, but even powerful men have enemies." The script is elegant and flowing with curled serifs. There is no signature or seal.
10-26-2012, 02:42 AM
"Many thanks good man" Eiring responded respectfully to the scribe with a light bow of the head; he put the supplies in his bag, shooting a sideway glance to the scribe doing so Interesting. Then with cherful voice adressed to his to be companions "Well people, what do you think our plan of action should be?"
10-26-2012, 02:32 PM
"Travelling with the workers strikes me as a fine plan. Besides, our lodging is bought and paid for; it'd be a shame not to take advantage of that. First round's on the Duke!"
10-26-2012, 02:42 PM
Outside the Duke's audience chamber, the dwarf reaches into one of his many pouches, pulling out a thin piece of paper and what looks like some ground herbs. He rolls it deftly into a tube filled with with tabacco, and with a practiced lick, seals the paper to itself.
"No arguement from me fer travlin' wit' th' hired help." He sticks one end of the tube in his mouth as the group begins walking towards the exit, pulling out an odd little device and setting fire to the other end of his paper-pipe.
"May-haps we can git a bit of bonus pay for bein caravan guards....easy work, that - done it a time or two meself."
As they break out into the open air he blows a slow line of smoke into the sky.
10-26-2012, 07:23 PM
The afternoon and following morning are restful as you prepare for your journey to Castle Ghand in Torydale and your Descent Into Darkness. The Duke's stores provide you with rations, water, and waterskins. The morning air is crisp as you meet with the construction workers and get ready for your travel to Torydale. They are masons-- hired, levied, or retained. Organizing the group and taking roll before departure is a young, harried-looking half-elf with shock-white hair. Short but muscular, he projects the sort of loud, commanding voice that a foreman needs. Spotting you, he checks you off his list and moves on to secure the rest of the group.
Travel is a bit dusty, but otherwise unremarkable. As a group 20 strong, you have little to worry from bandits or wild animals, and Chroisburg is tame country anyways. Torydale itself is much more savage, with the path as much a trail as it is a road, but by the end of the next day you have arrived at Castle Ghand. Despite being a somewhat ancient, crumbling castle, it still stands impressively at the base of the Tory hills, looming over the surrounding countryside. Its walls and parapets are still warded by the ancient Dwarven-runes engraved there generations ago, an art known only to the greatest of the human craftsmen. The half-elf foreman, who you have come to know as Daerek, is the son of Minister Erondalis and studied in the arts of the Dwarven-runes-- under his supervision alone can the walls be prepared. As the foreman, he arranges for your cots in the artisan's dormitory and provides you with access to the food supply of the castle.
Finally, he takes you to the unsealed entrance to the cellar network itself. "We've only managed to map out a bit of the first floor-- the goblins occasionally have patrols there. The archives say there are 7 floors of cellars, storerooms, and pantry, as well as craftsman shops and a number of other rooms on the lower floors.
They don't come out much, except at night, and less now that we have guards in the area. We've seen groups of 3 or 4 outdoors, and on the interior our ranger reported sighting 5 goblins and 2 hobgoblins patrolling. They're not terribly well-armed-- spears, clubs and the like-- but they're vicious and fairly crafty, for goblins."
As you get ready to head down, he stops Bargol for a moment. "You don't have to kill them, by the way-- All we need is for the cellars to be cleared out. The poor beasts probably think this grand castle belongs to them, and we're the invaders, when in fact it's the other way around. As long as they're gone, I'm happy-- whether they live or die."
You are at the stairwell down into the first floor of the cellar-- the description you have indicates a large central room, about 200 by 200 feet, with several 20x20 foot rooms off some of the walls (though it's unclear how many). The stair-stack is 15 feet wide enters in the center of the south wall, and continues downwards at the center of the north wall.
Anything to say or do before the descent?
10-27-2012, 11:58 AM
Before the group started their descent Eirin approached Zaroff "So, mister hunter, it appears we are the ones suited for mapmaking duties; would you like to collaborate on the task or you prefer another assignement." then, turning to the rest of the group asked "Ho, and who is the brave soul who wants to take the lead?"
10-27-2012, 12:12 PM
"Dunna worry there Daerek, we'll get the beasties out any which way is easiest. I tell ye though, gittin' 'em out ain't half the trouble that keepin' 'em out is. Ye should have someone pay a visit to Baggir's Toy Shop... seeing his confusion, the dwarf adds, "It's a dwarven toy shop, lad, dwarven toys. Git ye some scare-gobbos an' a few other uh...novelties, heh...keeps the slimy toads out o' yer pantry if ye git my meanin'."
The dwarf takes one last long drag off his "paper-pipe" and fires it at the ground like a ballista with his thumb and middle finger, grinding it into the dirt under his bootheel.
"Right then...Guess that'd be me ye mean, as there's nary a soul as brave a dwarf!"
Bargol leads the way as the descend...into darkness....
10-27-2012, 04:14 PM
"We should prob'ly work together on the map. I consider myself a fair hand at estimating distances, but drawing has never been my strong suit."
Waving at the Dwarf, he tries to stop him. "Hold up there. Not all of us can see in the dark. Shouldn't we throw down a couple o' torches first?"
10-27-2012, 04:34 PM
"Oh, aye..." he stops for a moment with an apologetic look on his face, "fergetted 'bout ye blindies! Guess it wouldn't hurt none...o'course it means ur conceedin' that a goblin has advantage o'er ye, heh!"
"Ano'er handicap occurs to me...if yer needin' a dwarf's perspective, we always know where we're at underground. Not sayin' we don't get lost in unfamiliar territory mind ye...but we always know where we're at... as he speaks the last he taps a thick finger against the side of his head.
Absently his hand dives into his pouch again, and in moments he's lighting another "paper-pipe." "Since we're goin' with fires lit anyhow, no harm in it..." he takes a long draw, blowing a gout of smoke out his nose like a bearded dragon, "Fer now stick close, the upper levels shouldn't be too full o' gobbo-tricks."
10-29-2012, 10:30 AM
You're always at wherever you happen to be, eh? Deinara quips at Bargol. She then turns to Zaroff.
I can sketch a decent map if you give me the figures. And as for light, that has a simple solution.
She mutters a few words and the high point of Zaroff's Bow begins to glow fiercely.
Casting Light, 3 hour duration. I chose the top of the bow so that it'll be high enough off the ground to be useful and hopefully high enough to keep out of his eyes.
Also casting Mage armor on herself, 3 hour duration.
10-29-2012, 12:11 PM
"...and now I'm glowing. That's what I get for speaking up."
Zaroff gestures expansively, shadows dancing as the bow's tip moves.
"Lead on, dwarf."
10-29-2012, 02:18 PM
"Hihihi... Well then, seems this issue is solved..." Eirin exclaimed, then added mischievously "Unless we want to look for a couple of torches for backup."
He moved right behind the dwarf, mapmaking material at the ready.
10-29-2012, 03:05 PM
"Right y'are. Let's get to it lads!"
Bargol leads the descent...into shadowy illumination...
10-30-2012, 03:55 AM
You descend into the cellar, finding the broad, long stairs comfortable and easy to descend. The stone is dry, and though it is chipped with age, stable and solid. The stair itself is 15 feet wide, with grooves running down the stairs, possibly for hauling trolleys or sleds up and down the slope. After descending about 20 feet, the light from behind you seems feeble and weak, and you must rely on the light springing from Zaroff's bow.
You reach the bottom of the stair, and the hallway extends out in front of you, hewn stone floors and walls with dwarven-runes carved into them. Several of the hewn stones in one are seem to have been pried up and placed in a pile. The underground air, familiar to those of you who have lived in cave networks, is cold and damp near this entrance-- but something smells faintly acrid and rotten. On your right is heavy iron door, 10 feet wide, marked with more dwarven-runes-- but also with a brief sentence elven runes and archaic common. It has no handle and stretches 15 feet to the ceiling.
To the left of the door there is a hole in the wall with a damaged, partially shattered chain hanging just short of reaching the floor. In the distance, those of you with keen ears can make out the pit-patter of dripping water at a regular interval. The hallway extends for at least 60 feet further, with two normal-sized doors on the left. Both are wooden and have bars and deadlocks on this side of them, and are locked tight.
The archaic runes are not immediately legible to someone familiar with the modern language. You do not currently hear or see any enemies.
10-30-2012, 04:05 AM
Bargol holds a fist up to call a quick halt. Leaving the others to take in their surroundings he gives the large door bearing the runes a quick going over for any goblin-made surprises.
His hushed voice breaks the silence, "Just a moment to be sure it's safe, lads...try not to touch anythin', aye?"
Search check for traps on the large door and its related mechanisms
If any traps are discovered:
If no traps are discovered, he reads the various runes on the door, trying to discern their meaning. (Languages: Dwarven, Goblin, Common, Undercommon)
10-30-2012, 11:00 AM
"If you say so."
Zaroff heads over to the hole in the wall, and peers in, trying to see what the chain connects to.
"But I'd guess that this hole was made to bypass that door."
10-30-2012, 01:18 PM
"As you say..." murmured the Halfling, walking carefully towards the door trying to read the runes.
Knowledge Checks to see if I recognize the language, if applicable.
Also languages known Halfling, Celestial, Abissal, Sylvan
10-30-2012, 04:41 PM
Bargol examines the chain mechanism by the door and quickly realizes that pulling on the chain does open the door, but it's smeared in some kind of greasy contact poison except for one chain link. Using his thief's tools, he smears the poison off the chain and onto a rag. The chain will be heavy and possibly require more than one person to pull.
You now have a Contact Poison on a rag. You can save this or throw it away.
Eirin's study of the runes is mostly inconclusive. Most of it appears to be some sort of ancient Dwarven. You have difficulty making out the Common but recognize a couple cognates that are still written the same today. Decoding what you can, it reads:
_ You _ _ Lever _ _ _ _ _ _ .
10-30-2012, 04:57 PM
"That's what I get for skipping history class I guess..." murmured between himself, then to Borgol "Messer dwarf, those runes seems to be the language of your people, I can not distinguish much, it seems to speak about a lever."
10-30-2012, 05:11 PM
Taking every care, Bargol folds his rag over several times with the poisoned side well to the inside and tucks it away into one of his belt pouches with a snicker. "Poison on the chain that opens the door...already into some nasty tricks. Can't say I can help much wi' the runes...Dwarven to be sure, but I di'n't spend as much time with me people as I coulda."
With a shrug he yanks on the chain to open the door.
10-30-2012, 06:36 PM
With a mighty heave, Bargol pulls the chain, and as he does so you can hear the faint creak of gears and machinery inside the walls, and a light clattering from the other side of the door. Normally, this chain would take two people to pull, but Bargol's immense strength is such that he pulls it alone. For each two feet the chain is pulled, the door slides sideways one foot.
Soon, the door has been pulled 5 feet open and can be walked through. The entire process was relatively noise-free. From out here, you can see a coil of chain on the other side of the door, feeding up into a hole opposite the hole on the outside. The air from the opposite side of the door wafts into your faces, warmer and damper than the outside air, breezing upwards towards the exit. The smell of acrid rot is not coming from this room.
Peering into the room from here, you see it's 60 feet deep and 40 feet wide, extending ahead and to the right. Straight across the room is a 20' wide doorway, and on the right wall there is a lever in a 20'x20' area that is surrounded by an 3 foot tall iron fence. The fenced-in area is a pit that descends beyond from where you can see from the doorway. Along the walls are sconces for torches, all empty. There are no runes on the walls here, but in several places there are splatters and smears of blood.
The ground itself is streaked with blood and gore. There are two goblins and a hobgoblin lying dead or unconscious on the floor in pools of blood. The hobgoblin is missing an arm-- you see it on the other side of the room. His shield-arm was severed at the shoulder, straight through his ring mail. Both of the goblins have severe wounds to the chest, their armor of boiled leather slashed and punctured. On the floor are two clubs and a flail. Whoever killed these goblins did so with extreme force.
10-30-2012, 06:48 PM
"Hoo. I was thinking of pulling on that chain to see what happened. Thanks for the warning, Bargol!"
Zaroff advances to the opening in the door. Catching sight of the corpses, he starts slightly, then readies his bow.
"Looks like someone's been doing our job for us..."
11-01-2012, 04:11 PM
"Hoo, gross! Definitely not a good sign." said Eirin, that view was not an easy one, he patted on his side to reassure himself of the presence of his little weapons.
11-01-2012, 04:16 PM
Bargol scratches under his beard with one nail, "Hmmmmm...well it dun look like they killed eachother. Purty hard takin' off an arm wit' a club 'r flail. Specially for their ilk." He makes his way across the room, toe-ing aside chunks of goblin where it gets in his path.
"Wonder if somethin' climbed outta their little pit an' ate 'em?" He looks down into the pit as best he can, hocks a loogey, and sends it rocketting down into the dark.
11-01-2012, 05:46 PM
That would be my guess, though they seem to have been killed over territory rather than food.
11-02-2012, 09:22 PM
About 20 feet down there is a platform, attached to the wall by a geared contraption. The darkness extends out to the sides and below it.
11-03-2012, 07:58 AM
"Bargol, why don't you check that lever?"
Zaroff moves cautiously to the side of the fallen goblins, and checks to see whether any of them are still breathing.
11-03-2012, 11:00 AM
"Fair enough, fair enough."
The dwarf gives the lever a going over for trickery while muttering to himself under his breath, "Bargol, why don't you check that lever...can already see how this adventure's gonna go..."
Once he's cleared it of any dangers, he begins fiddling with it, pulling it, pushing it, seeing what it does.
Some rolls if needed:
11-03-2012, 02:19 PM
Eirin silently shadowed the dwarf while he checked the room, focusing his senses to hear any unusual sound.
11-03-2012, 03:43 PM
Zaroff checks the unpleasantly bloodied creatures for signs of life. The hobgoblin is dead, and so is one of the goblins. The other goblin is unconscious and stable, but doesn't look like he'll be getting up to walk around any time soon. His breathing is shallow but regular.
Bargol searches the lever for traps, and finds that the lever mechanism is connected to some gears and chains behind it in the wall, The chain in the wall leads over towards the depressed platform. Judging by the design, the lever is a ratchet-- you can pull the lever halfway, and a hooked gear inside will rotate by one ratchet, pulling the chain in. If you pull the lever all the way down, the ratchet will be released and the chain will be let out-- you can either hold the lever all the way down, or ratchet it downwards with slower, longer strokes. Judging by the strain on the chain, something is pulling on the other end of it with modest force.
Eirin listens closely and hears a distant droning. It's low and steady, like a piece of leather being dragged across a wooden washboard. It gradually increases and decreases in both pitch and volume, but it's just at the edge of hearing. Eirin and Zaroff both notice that Zaroff's dog is standing alert with risen hackles-- it is sniffing the air nervously, and looking around at the corpses of dead goblins.
11-03-2012, 03:59 PM
"Better not touch anything just yet, messer dwarf..." said Eirin in a hurried wishper. "There is something not far, we should avoid noises."
11-03-2012, 05:30 PM
Standing over the unconscious goblin, Zaroff calls to the others. "Hey! This one's still alive!"
Noticing his dog's distress, he crouches down next to her, laying a hand on her back.
"What is it, girl? Smell something?"
Handle animal(?): [roll0]
Do I have any idea why she's scared? If it's a reaction I've seen before, what caused it?
11-04-2012, 03:20 PM
This is her typical response when she's confronted with an enemy that's not a humanoid, monstrous humanoid, giant, or another animal. She's clearly disturbed by something she can hear or smell-- but it's not clear from where or what is bothering her.
11-04-2012, 06:44 PM
Bargol immediately ceases fussing over the lever, and walks over to the still-living goblin. "Anyone got a way to wake 'im up? No harm in knowin' what we're up against." He slides his axe out of its strap and grips it in both hands, head on a swivel looking for signs of danger.
[roll0] [roll1] for anything suspicious or seeming to be out of place.
11-05-2012, 01:24 AM
I've got a waterskin. Though I suspect a healing cantrip would work as well or better.
Deinara glances at Eirin, seemingly unaware of her slight mistake in nomenclature.
11-05-2012, 12:04 PM
Walking as silently as possible toward the gory mess he said quietly "I do not have such a cantrip at my disposition, but if you wish I can heal him."
While answering the response of the group Eirin cautiously took some less bloodied strips of cloth from the bodies and, being very carefull not to provoke any damage to the goblin, or waking him, used it to gag him.
"Does anyone speak the language of this... guy, I am afraid I do not."
That's a tough question, trying to gag the goblin without killing him would be using the heal or use rope skills? In doubt I rolled both, unles any other skill should be used (or I am just overthinking this.). I'll erase the unused rolls.
Use Rope: [roll1]
Also if the consensus is to heal him I use Cure light wounds [roll2]
11-05-2012, 12:32 PM
"Wait a moment..."
Zaroff crouches next to Eirin, pulling out his dagger and holding it against the unconscious goblin's throat.
"Now you can go ahead and heal him."
11-05-2012, 12:50 PM
"Don't worry on that score, I can have a pleasant lil' chat with our wee beastie here."
After he his healed, Bargol reaches down and lightly slaps the goblin's face on each side, and in the goblin tongue, gives him a traditional goblin wake-up call, "Dwarves in the tunnel!"
11-05-2012, 03:46 PM
The diving energies course through the goblin's veins, sealing his wounds, patching his skin, and revitalizing him. Even though goblins are typically small and weak, you can see that this one has lived a harsh life, and has had strength beaten into him. His body is strong and scarred.
His eyes open slowly and hearing Bargol's voice, they bulge. There is a muffled scream as he sees who is standing over him, but the gag holds in his voice. He looks around, and quickly realizes he is defeated and at your mercy. He stops struggling, and lies still, his eyes darting around the room in a panic. He sees his two dead companions and begins crying, silently, through his gag.
11-05-2012, 03:51 PM
"Very well!" he focused on the inside and called the wellspring of power that resides in his very soul. His hand was suffused by a faint golden light, he touched the goblin and the brilliance was absorbed by the still figure.
After a few seconds he recovered a scroll from his pack and moved away from the group, taking his sling and loading it with a stone; while the others talked with the goblin it was better he kept guard.
I take a scroll of magic stones an put it within easy reach and draw the sling.
11-05-2012, 03:54 PM
Bargol holds a finger up to his mouth and gives as soothing of a "Shhhhh" as he can muster. In the goblin tongue he addresses their captive, "Alright then, Meat...what happened to your buddies there?" He pulls the gag out of the goblin's mouth so he can answer.
11-05-2012, 04:05 PM
The goblin briefly stops weeping and whispers back: "We were cranking the elevator and a creature of the depths clawed its way up. It was covered in fur and scales, shaped like a horse but bigger... It had four turtle-heads, each at the end of a long neck. It had bony wings gleaming with acid and a tail with a long curved stinger at the end of its tail."
He looks around and sees the halfling cleric loading a weapon.
"Please don't kill me, master, I will serve you so well!"
11-05-2012, 04:17 PM
Bargol, Fearless Leader
Bargol whips up another paper-pipe, and lights it, drawing a deep pull off it and blowing the smoke (accidentally) right into the goblin's face. He continues, still in Goblin: "As ye can see, Master has plenty of good servants. What I want you to do is to go back to your tribe and tell them this place is too dangerous. They need to leave, fast fast. Get me?"
11-05-2012, 05:36 PM
The goblin gulps and says, "Yes, I will tell them what you say, I will tell them we need to leave. Please don't kill me. Down the hallway next to the elevator, there are three rooms where we live.
Do you know what happened to the creature of the depths?"
11-05-2012, 05:43 PM
"Didn't see no four headed horse-turtle when we got here. What's down the elevator? How deep does yous tribe goin' here? Got maps? Who's yer Boss?" The goblin-tongue questions continue to pour out of Bargol.
As an aside, in Common he lets the group know the gist of what the goblin has told him. "Grease-stain here says they were usin' that elevator when somethin' from deep-down climbed up an' had at 'em. Looked like a horse with fur 'n' scales, long neck, 4 heads like a turtle, wings an' a stinger fer a tail. Sound like anythin' y' know?"
11-05-2012, 05:52 PM
The goblin does his best to answer the questions as quickly as he can. "The elevator leads to mines and caverns. We left our tribe and came here. We have taken treasure out of the rooms and mines below, and sold them. Eventually, we run out of treasure and have to go deeper. We found monsters, mostly weak-- together we kill them and take their treasure. We do this for weeks. Today we get ready to go down to take more treasure to sell, and the creature of the depths comes up the elevator shaft."
He pauses for breath.
"Our boss is Chief Thokket. He leads the 30 of us with fairness. Some say the monsters are too dangerous, and we should attack humans above us instead, Thokket disagrees. I don't know of any maps, I am a guard, not a ranger."
11-05-2012, 05:52 PM
Satisfied the goblin won't try anything, Zaroff stands up and sheaths his weapon.
"Right. So... these guys were savaged by a four headed, winged, turtle-scorpion-horse. I think our friend here might have caught a blow to the head."
Despite his casual words, he readies his bow and sets an arrow on the string, obviously more on-edge than he seems.
11-06-2012, 04:02 PM
Deinara searches her memory for anything like the beast described.
11-06-2012, 04:09 PM
Deinara remembers learning about creatures similar to this in her studies of unusual biology-- the Hengae. A breed of abominations similar to the Hydra, they live deep underground and are blind, seeing via echolocation and sharp hearing out to 120 feet. What they lack for in the Hydra's regeneration and ability to grow back heads they make up for with a powerful neurotoxin from their stinging tails and the ability to fly.
They are a bit smarter than most animals and very strong. They range in size from dog-sized (at birth) to get as large as a giant when fully mature. They can have 5 heads, and if a head is lost it takes about a week to grow back. If all heads are cut off, the Henga dies.
Canny hunters use Silence or similar effects to trap or kill these creatures.
11-06-2012, 06:46 PM
Deinara begins speaking in a flat, low tone meant to carry as little distance as possible.
Best not to speak to loudly, the creature he describes has very keen hearing. Fortunately that's about the only sense they do have, they are easily killed under the cover of magical silence.
Deinara glances Eirin, knowing that the spell is a far more common trick of priests than wizards.
11-07-2012, 11:15 AM
Eirin answered the wizard in an apologetic wishper, without even turning, "Unfortunately that kind of power is beyond me as it is."
11-07-2012, 12:24 PM
"We'll just have to do this the old-fashioned way, then."
Zaroff smiles grimly, then looks over at the biologist questioningly.
"If these things rely on hearing so much, it seems to me we all ought to make as much noise as we possibly can when we fight it. Shout, scream, stamp, whatever. Might confuse the beast, no?"
11-07-2012, 01:22 PM
Puting in his two coppers, and proud to do it, Bargol asks, "What if we just squish it in the elevator? Eh? Like a gobbo in a juicer...squiiiiiiish..." he puts a fist in his open hand and grinds it back and forth, as a demonstration, "speakin' o' which...we done with this 'n'? He says his Chief don't want no war with the humans, an' he says he'll tell 'em all to bugger off if we let 'im carry th' message that this place is too dangerous fer 'em." Then with a mumble, audible but lower pitched and with a hair of confusion, "'Course search me fer where they'd be buggerin' off to..."
11-09-2012, 01:19 AM
Maybe, though I'd rather not try something entirely untested like that when our lives could depend on it. The elavator could work, but we'd need a way to get it there and keep it there. Ultimately it may be best to see if we can avoid the beast. And yes, we should certainly let the goblin deliver the message back to his people. Perhaps we should even accompany him to ensure this is resolved with as little bloodshed as possible.
11-09-2012, 05:07 AM
"I thought that we have been hired to clean the place of both goblin and monsters..." said Eirin, somewhat amused "Not that I mind... "
"As for the goblin I agree on letting him go, it would be better for anyone to resolve thing pacefully. "
11-09-2012, 05:11 PM
"Let the goblin go. I doubt his testimony will suffice to convince his tribe or leader, but it's a start."
"As for the creature... We're going to have to fight it eventually, so I say we do it here and now, on our terms. We could argue all day about this, or... I could just do this."
Cupping his hands to his mouth, Zaroff raises his voice and bellows a challenge.
"FOUL CREATURE! COME AND DIE!"
As the echoes fade, he readies his bow and nocks an arrow, waiting for a target to appear.
11-09-2012, 09:18 PM
For a single breath, a single heartbeat, there is silence as Zaroff's taunt echoes around the room. It seems for a moment you've never been in a place so silent. Then, you hear a low roar and the sound of the Henga's heavy footfalls coming from down the hall out the back of this room. You doubt you'll have much time before it arrives-- situate yourself, take ready actions, and prepare for battle!
The room is 40 feet wide and 60 feet deep.
A more precise battle map will be generated once we are situated. In addition to describing any actions you take while the creature is coming, feel free to roll for initiative. If you don't, I'll roll it for you when we start the battle.
11-10-2012, 02:43 AM
The dwarf's eyes pop wide when Zaroff calls out his challenge, but before he can cough an admonition he hears a sinister response. He whips his waraxe out and begins moving to the wall by the opening the sound came from.
He harshly whispers, "Not as much time as I'd like, but git to ambushin', ye dunderheads!" as he tucks himself up against the north wall. As the sound of the Henga draws closer, an unseen force begins operating the lever on the elevator at Bargol's behest, hopefully serving as a distraction for the fell beast.
Move action to move to the north wall on the south side of the corner the Henga-noise is coming from (like between the elevator and the top wall, if that makes sense), drawing his waraxe during the move. Standard action to Mage Hand the elevator lever.
A paladin this dwarf is not!
11-10-2012, 04:06 AM
Zaroff moves to the rear of the hall and stands facing the noise. While his face appears serious, a smile dances in his eyes.
This is it! The thrill of the hunt! A contest of strength and skill, man against beast!
Seeing Bargol moving into position, he shouts "All right. I'll give this thing a target. Hit it from behind!" As the noise of the monster gets closer, he keeps up a steady stream of taunts, insults, and war cries.
11-10-2012, 05:03 AM
"Really smart move Hunter, maybe you also want to tell it exactly how many we are?" he said in an exasperated whisper while nearing Zaroff "Now stay still a second" he murmured a few words, when he touched the hunter a shimmering aura surrounded the human, like heat waves in the desert air.
After that he moved as fast and silently as he could in what he thought could be a relatively safe place.
Cast Shield of faith on Zaroff.
Move Silently: [roll1] move behind the elevator putting the pit between me and the monster
11-11-2012, 04:26 PM
Deinara moves to the far side of the elavator, drawing her crossbow and preparing a series of magical sigils in her mind.
Moving, and drawing her crossbow, readying a bolt next round. Each round she readies an action to cast grease under the beast when it fully enters the room, positioning it so Zaroff and Bargol can both still get to it.
11-14-2012, 10:26 PM
You move to your positions, and Eirin surrounds Zaroff with glowing, deflective energy. You wait for what seems like an hour but is really a heartbeat before the beast arrives.
The Henga comes roaring into the room, its 4 heads snapping and roaring incoherently. Deinara's magic slicks the floor under the creature. It yelps and staggers, catching its footing before it falls, using its large size to try to step around the slicked surface. It roars mightily and angrily.
Henga - 11 (+3)
Zaroff - 11 (+3) [Shield of Faith-- ends in 27 rounds]
Bargol - 11 (+1)
Eirin - 6
Deinara - 5
11-14-2012, 10:48 PM
Bellowing an incoherent warcry, Zaroff lets fly his arrow at the monster, then tosses his bow aside and reaches over his shoulder for his sword.
I'm not entirely clear what actions we have here. Ideally I will shoot the Henga and draw my sword, but if I can only take one action (surprise round), the sword will have to wait.
Attack: 1d20+8 Oops, screwed that up. Roll in OOC thread.
11-14-2012, 11:44 PM
Zaroff's arrow strikes true, piercing the belly of the multi-headed beast between fur and scales. Slimy dark green blood drenches the fur around the arrow wound as the Henga's heads shriek in a hollow dissonant chorus.
11-15-2012, 05:47 AM
If there's one thing a Dwarf does well, it's chargin'!
Standard action charge
Gods be good, be ye dwarf or dice.
11-15-2012, 10:15 AM
Deinara looses a crossbow bolt at the beast, aiming at its center of mass rather than the rapidly moving heads.
11-15-2012, 05:41 PM
Deinara fires, the wooden contraption in her hand shuddering as the wound-up forces within it expire into the bolt. The steel-tipped missile punctures the front of the Henga's abdomen, shattering one of its dark-colored scales. The creature roars and ears up on its hind legs just as Bargol moves in and swings his axe into its exposed belly.
Though it is wounded, the Henga is more angry than it is frightened.
11-15-2012, 05:59 PM
"Might as well join the show"
Eirin charged his sling and let the rock go, aiming at the head of the creature in the hope of having less risk of hitting the dwarf by accident.
EDIT: Yay, critical failure, I'll probably hit myself.
11-15-2012, 06:20 PM
The sling attack is unmemorable except insofar as it is utterly inept: the bullet falls short of the Henga entirely, landing on the ground in front of it. Clearly this was an attack that had no chance of success.
The henga growls and gingerly moves past the greased squares, giving Bargol another chance to attack it as it shuffles past him.
The henga turns and bites at Bargol spitefully, dealing 11 damage.
Party's turn, in whatever order you'd like.
11-17-2012, 10:23 AM
Zaroff charges the creature opposite Bargol, slashing with his greatsword.
Attack: [roll0] (AC -> 17)
11-17-2012, 05:21 PM
"SANDSTONE but I forgot how much that crap can HURT!" Viciously wounded, the dwarf seeks to smash the thing before it can kill him...or anyone else! He swings his axe for a vital spot, taking advantage of his ally's charge, then tucks into a backwards roll, hoping to find himself beyond the Henga's reach. He calls to Zaroff, "Sorry lad, but a knight I'm not!" as he coughs up a mouthful of blood.
and [roll5] to roll back 10ft without provoking an AoO
11-18-2012, 02:37 AM
The Henga shrieks a shrill, piercing howl, snapping a blind head at Zaroff as he closes to strike it. Zaroff nimbly avoids it, as he and Bargol converge on the creature simultaneously, striking it with axe and blade.
Despite its multiple heads, the Henga can't keep track of the Human and the Dwarf simultaneously. Zaroff slashes across the one of the creature's brows, down the neck and into the body, his blade sinking into the creature's collarbone. The Henga's neck and the top of its torso are split open like a an over-ripe eggplant, blood and flesh exploding out of the massive wound and spraying the surroundings in acrid green liquid.
The Henga roars and turns, crying now in fear and agony rather than anger. As it spins round, Bargol's axe finds its home in the wound Zaroff opened up, cutting through the weakened bone and into the guts of the unnatural beast. In an instant, the Henga's shriek is cut short as arteries snap, organs hemorrhage, and bones splinter. The Henga falls forwards and Bargol rolls away, dodging two falling heads.
It is dead before it hits the ground.
11-18-2012, 04:56 AM
"Gack... the stench is the worst part..." he had to come uncomfortably close to the creature smelling body to reach the dwarf, he had been hitten by the monster
"I'm guessing you need some help, messer dwarf, let me see..."
After examining the wound he continued "Nothing life threatening, I won't be able to close it completely but here we go."
Cure Light Wounds: [roll0]
11-18-2012, 04:49 PM
The raven on Deinara's shoulder reaches into her bag and retrieves some paper and ink, handing them to the wizard who begin making sketches of the fallen Henga.
Fascinating creatures, I have always somewhat wanted to see one in person. Though I hoped to do so under more controlled conditions.
Deinara takes a moment away from her sketching to glare at Zaroff.
11-18-2012, 06:15 PM
The dwarf rises to his feet, plugging his wound with a finger as Eirin lays a healing touch on him. "Well fancy that...thank'ee, Fingers!" He wipes his hand on his trousers and pokes at the now-closed wound.
"Interstin' creature indeed...ye know what we should do...we should skin the beastie, an' then stand on eachother's shoulders, and put 'is heads on like a mask! BA HA HA HA....I bet that'd scare e'ry gobbo outta this place quick as two shakes o' an elf's tail."
11-19-2012, 06:23 PM
Zaroff flaps his hand in the air. "Yeah, like fighting a giant monster to the death is ever 'controlled'."
He wipes his sword on a cloth and casually slings it back over his shoulder, then retrieves his bow. Walking back over to the fallen creature, he thinks aloud; "I wonder what this thing tastes like..."
11-19-2012, 10:06 PM
I wouldn't recommend finding out, the heat of a cooking fire would almost certainly cause its toxin sacs to burst which would have... unfortunate effects on the eater. I suppose they could be removed if you're really curious, I was considering some internal sketches anyway.
11-19-2012, 10:10 PM
"A right sick pair y'are. 'Course while yer at it, if this thing's got some venom behind 'is bite, might be we could use it t'our benefit..."
11-19-2012, 11:27 PM
The progress of science cannot be impeded by a little blood, Bargol. And I suppose some deadly neurotoxin would be a handy thing to have lying around.
Deinara transfers her papers to her raven, who takes over her sketching. She then kneels by the monster's corpse and produces a sharp knife.
Untrained Craft Check: [roll0]
11-19-2012, 11:45 PM
The dwarf bends over Deinara's shoulder, anxious to "help." And by "help" it should be noted that a lot of back-seat-dwarfing is about to happen.
"Ne'er let it be said that Bargol Rockdropper di'in' do 'is part to further the sciences!" He offers obviously erroneous (but genuinely believed...at least by him) anatomical direction, even poking his finger into the corpse to draw imaginary lines where he believes Deinara should cut or resect sections of tissue. With a blessed moment of respite, the dwarf lights another paper-pipe, and then jumps back to his "helping." He manages to smear ashes about on one of the creature's once-vital organs and hinders Deinara with choking fetid smoke.
[roll0] A bit much for a failure by only 3, but hey, swing for the fences or go home, right?
11-20-2012, 06:53 AM
"It sais that science is the excuse of the crazy..." commented jolly the halfling, meanwhile he took some paper from his pack and joined Zaroff, "While we wait what do you say we try to make some mapmakig done?"
I assume we made the simple map on the way since it was an automatic success, so we can try do make an average one. The roll can be used directly or as an aid another, as sean_hyer prefers.
11-20-2012, 07:52 AM
Zaroff ambled over to the halfling, and looked at the map he was drawing.
"I can't make heads nor tails of this. And what is that supposed to be?"
Taking the paper from the halfling, he holds it upside-down, and starts sketching a rough map over the top of the work he had already done.
Let's have that be an aid another, then, and see if I can't roll any better.
Okay, spoke too soon.
11-21-2012, 04:55 AM
With (or perhaps in spite of) Bargol's help, Deinara is able to separate the poisonous venom sacs from the rest of the Henga and carefully wrap them in an emptied-out waterskin. Henga venom attacks the nervous system, inhibiting judgement and sensory perception. Although on its own it isn't fatal, the Henga it is attached to typically is. These sacs will provide up to three doses of Henga venom to be applied to weapons or traps.
Three doses of Henga Venom: Injury DC 14 | 1d4 Wisdom | 1d4 Wisdom
Eirin and Zaroff, in the meantime, finish mapping out the staircase corridor, doorway, and elevator room. It's a simple map, but it's effective, and the underground features here are distinct and easy to remember.
The frightened goblin skulks back to the group thanks Bargol for the handy defeat of the creature. You notice he has dragged the corpse the other goblin and the other goblin onto their backs and closed their eyes. He asks, "What should I say to Thokket?"
Bargol also hears a clanking noise coming from down the hallway out the back of the room (where the Henga came from), regular like walking, as wel as talking, though you can't make it out. Zaroff's guard dog starts growling and stands up, coming to his heel. It seems ready for a fight.
11-21-2012, 01:54 PM
"I think Lilith smells something else. You guys want to sit tight while we go check it out?"
Say no, or I'll die. And that would be sad.
11-21-2012, 04:23 PM
Bargol gently tucks the waterskins containing the Henga poison into his pack, provided nobody objects. As he's placing the last one, his ears perk up along with the dog's. "Shhhhh sh sh sh shhhhh" he waives the party to silence. "Somethin' down the Henga-hall...clankin' 'n' talkin'. Shush yer pet, an' find a hidin' spot I says, and wait for it to come to us."
11-21-2012, 04:39 PM
"Nice, another party already... we haven't finished cleaning from the first one." murmured the halfling while following the dwarf advice, trying to be as quiet as possible...
I hide in the corner near the the corridor, do not leave me alone...
how much time did it passed since the end of the first fight?
11-21-2012, 08:12 PM
Zarodd scoops up his bristling dog in one hand, and the still-shaken goblin in the other, trying to shush them both; then he hurries into cover beside Eirin.
11-22-2012, 02:32 PM
Deinara joins the others on the hall side of the elevator, reloading her crossbow and staying behind her more heavily armored teammates.
11-22-2012, 08:10 PM
It's been a few minutes since the end of the fight with the Henga.
The goblin protests for a moment but meekly falls limp as you all come together and crouch around the corner. As you crouch together, you see 3 goblins and 2 hobgoblins enter the room from the corridor the Henga came from. 2 of the goblins are wearing animal furs and wielding crude wooden clubs, and one of them is wearing a leather tunic and holding silver scepter with a dull gem on the end of it. One of the hobgoblins is also wearing furs and holding a club, but the other is wearing a splint mail, iron bands lashed together with stiff boiled leather. He is holding a long sword in one hand and an iron shield in the other, and unlike his skulking comrades walks with the presence and grace of someone comfortable with combat and blood.
Upon entering the room, one of the goblins immediately begins vomiting. It is a grisly scene-- 2 dead goblins and a brutally mangled, mostly dissected Henga. The goblin with you lets out a muffled squeek before Zaroff claps his hand over its mouth, and the goblins at the other end of the room stop. They can't see you due to the railing, but they definitely heard something. One of them lets out a squeek of fear.
The armored hobgoblin calls out in Goblin, which only Bargol understands: "Hey! Who's there? Ordak, is that you?"
11-23-2012, 02:15 AM
Looks like the gig's up already...gotta be...what's the word...diplomatic about this. A careful response, with plenty of forethought. Somethin' witty and crafty and clever.
In goblin, Bargol replies, "Nope!"
11-25-2012, 09:26 PM
One of the goblins pipes up, "That doesn't sound like Ordek at all!"
"Quiet!" growls the mailed Hobgoblin.
The other goblins with him continue to grip their weapons in a guarded stance. He waves his sword hand at one of them and they begin to back up slowly. The goblin next to him with the scepter mutters something to him. He thinks for a moment, then he nods.
He clears his throat. "I am Thokket, Chief of the Apostates and owner of this keep. I thank you for destroying this beast, though we certainly would have killed it ourselves. Who are you, and what brings you to our home?"
The other hobgoblin grabs the vomiting goblin and drags him as the group backs up.
11-25-2012, 09:43 PM
Bargol the Party-face!
Bargol strides forward, hands out and empty, palms up in a gesture of peace and good will. "I'm Bargol Rockdropper, commissioned by Duke Paul Scarface to map this 'ere keep and clear it o' beasties. Any other beasties about needin' clearin' by chance?"
11-25-2012, 09:59 PM
One of the goblins jumps and Thokket growls at the sight of Bargol.
"I knew something smelled awful, but I thought it was the stench of this creature. I should have known a Dwarf would crawl up out of the cracks of the earth someday" The goblins with him snicker loudly at the joke, and stop backing away. One of them hefts her club and thoughtfully stares at Bargol.
Thokket sneers at you as he switches over to Common. "You're here to slay beasties, are you? I don't need any help from--" he spits "--a Dwarf. You're lucky I don't spit you where you stand. You killed the beast, though, so you can leave. Now."
The other hobgoblin pipes up in goblin. "But--"
"No." Thokket cuts her off in goblin. "This is better."
11-25-2012, 10:23 PM
Deducing that the goblin would react better to a non-dwarf, Deinara marches out of hiding, readying another series of sigils in her mind in case the move turns unwise.
I am afraid that that is not a reasonable option, we have been contracted to clear the dungeon of monsters, and we will do so regardless of whether you want our help or not. Still, cooperation would benefit us both, I am sure. There is no reason we can't work together.
Readying an action to glitterdust as many of the goblinoids as possible if they take hostile action.
11-25-2012, 10:42 PM
The hobgoblin pauses for a moment. "Contracted? On whose authority? Nobody has been in this castle for years-- it belongs to me. Why would anyone else want to kill the monsters in the dungeons below?"
11-25-2012, 10:52 PM
Seizing on Deinara's line of attack, Bargol adds in, "Aye, we already killed one beastie that killed a handfull of yer kin, and saved one of yours in the bargain. We can work together, or not...our contract ain't so particular about what constitutes a 'beastie' after all." He returns the goblin with a club's glare. "Yer call, Snot-skin."
11-26-2012, 07:49 AM
Pushing the rescued goblin ahead of him, Zaroff strides out of hiding, elbowing Bargol sharply on his way past. Ignoring the drawn weapons of the goblins behind the chief, he walks up towards him, hands held up in a gesture of peace, and bows.
"Greetings, chief Thokket. It is true that the castle above us has long stood empty. However, that is no longer the case. Duke Paul, of whom I am sure you have heard, has ordered it reclaimed in the name of his Majesty. While I am certain that you and your men are more than capable of dealing with the beasts down here..."
A sidelong glance at the dead goblins belies his words.
"...the same cannot be said for a human army. Duke Paul, as you must know, is a renowned warrior, and would undoubtedly cleanse these dungeons by force should he be pushed to it. We are but the harbingers of his coming, and will leave your decision up to you."
Why am I having to do the peacemaking? If I get stabbed, I'm blaming you guys.
Yep, I'm gonna get stabbed :smallsmile:
11-26-2012, 11:13 AM
"Oh dear Brandobaris, and I thought I was bad at diplomacy" Eirin was half amazed half befuddled by the diplomatic approach of his companions, and he wisely chose to stay hidden, better being prepared for the worst.
reading an action to attack the first goblin that tries to attack the group, for all the good it would make.
A dwarven thief with no charisma that does the talking and an halfling cleric whit discret charisma who stays hidden, maybe we should discuss strategy before acting uhn :smallbiggrin:
11-27-2012, 04:30 AM
The goblin you release runs over to Thokket's group. "They want us to leave, chief, they killed the beast."
"Where's Ordek?" Asks Thokket.
The goblin croaks, "Ordek is dead. So is Gark. The creature killed them."
Thokket grimaces, and turns back to you, speaking in Common. "Your threats have no weight with me, monster hunters. We've killed men and dwarves before and we will kill them again if need arises. You may have slain the beast, but my men and I are hardened with years of battle. This is our home, and you have no right to be here. Your help, however unnecessary, is appreciated-- so you may go in peace. You can tell this Duke of yours that if he wants this castle so badly, he can come and get it."
11-27-2012, 01:54 PM
If there's one thing a dwarf won't put up with at all..."You listen here you greasy britches-stain..." he holds up his thumb, still bearing a small light scar from where he signed his contract with the Duke, "This little bitty part o' my thumb here: That's the Duke comin' down 'is-self to settle things. It's enough to smash ye to a pulp so fine it won't even wet the floor-dust! If'n yer wantin' to negotiate with the Duke, go negotiate wi' ol' Scarface 'is-self. I was hired to do a job an' I'm doin' it! An' that's that. As a show o' good faith, since my contract allows the wiggle, I'll leave yer kin untouched and start huntin' down other beasties while ye parlay...if ye want..."
The dwarf slides his axe out casually. "'Course if yer not wantin' that...I'm the accomodatin' sort."
[roll0] for a peaceful resolution...of course I'm not even sure without doing the math that it's physically possible to succeed on this check, lol
Sorry guys! Two sorries if we get killed!
11-27-2012, 02:19 PM
Stepping out from between the dwarf and hobgoblin, Zaroff reaches over his shoulder and draws his sword as well.
"I am sorry, but my companion is right. We were hired to clear this dungeon, and we will do so, over your dead body if we must."
Aid another: [roll0]
I'm really not at all scary today, am I. Ah well. Maybe I'm saving up my good luck for when combat begins.
11-27-2012, 05:22 PM
"Oh, fo..." Eirind bit his tongue trying to keep silent, ".. for the love of the gods." those two were insane, for a second, or two, he had the really strong temptation of bashing a rock into those tick heads.
I stand with my readied action, hoping to live long enough to sat a shield of faith next turn...
11-27-2012, 06:30 PM
Deinara grits her teeth and fights the urge to shout at her teammates as they trample over whatever chance they may have had at gainful cooperation. She keeps the sigils at the forefront of her mind, anticipating their imminent use.
sticking with my prepared action.
11-27-2012, 07:44 PM
Thokket jerks his head towards the goblin you just released. "Get Kret out of here. Wake up the others."
He lets out a furious battle cry steps forward, brandishing his sword. The hobgoblin, the goblin with the scepter, and the goblin with the club advance with him.
Deinara leaps into action, blasting the goblinoids with blinding dust, catching the four advancing goblins.
The entire group is struck blind. The blinded goblins scream in surprise and dismay. "What's going on!?" cries the hobgoblin. "I'm blind! Oh gods, I'm blind!" The scepter-bearing goblin clutches at his eyeballs, silently shaking.
Only Thokket seems in possession of his mental faculties, though he is clearly blinded. Realizing the situation is grim, he stops advancing and starts yelling in Common: "Wait, wait, we surrender! Please don't kill us!"
Eirin flings a sling bullet at Thokket.
It strikes him between the eyes, bruising him slightly. "Please!" he cries, "We surrender! Please don't slay us with your magicks!"
Battle is joined! Everyone rolls for initiative.
Those of you with turns before the goblins can act before them, then the goblins act, then the entire party acts, then the goblins act again-- basically, if you beat the goblin initiative you get an extra turn. What order you move at within the group initiative is your decision.
The goblins go first, and are mostly freaking out at being suddenly struck blind. Thokket drops his weapon and shield and holds out his hands pleading for his life. "Take the castle, take the dungeon, take it all, just please let us live! We surrender!"
11-27-2012, 08:40 PM
Deinara does her best to speak in a clear, authoritative voice, trying to keep it from waver at the suddenly diffused tension of combat.
Place your weapons of the ground, take three steps forward and kneel in place. We will not hurt you if you do not force us to.
11-27-2012, 10:03 PM
Keeping his sword at the ready, Zaroff watches the goblins, waiting to see how they react to the wizard's command.
Once the blindness wears off, they might get some nerve back. A little smoke and mirrors can't hurt if we're trying to keep them scared. Right before it wears off, we should have them subdued, so be sure to say something like "I release you from this blindness! Abracadabra!"
Readying an action to charge any goblin who isn't following Deinara's instructions.
11-28-2012, 12:29 AM
Thokket quickly translates Deinara's commands into goblin. "The magic-user says she won't smite us if we drop our weapons, step forwards, and kneel. Hurry up or we're toast!"
Thokket's companions drop their weapons, step forwards, and kneel in the stinking Henga entrails in front of them. The goblin you captured previously drops his barfing friend, Kret, and lines up with the others. Kret gathers his senses long enough to drag himself over to kneel in the Henga entrails, where he begins heaving once again.
The goblins and their leader are now unarmed at your mercy.
11-28-2012, 12:41 AM
OOC: If I'm out of order on this, I can edit, but I'm about to go to bed, so I'm gettin' an inb4!
Bargol points a finger at the sceptre laying on the ground, willing it rise off the floor and come to him through the power of his amulet. When it reaches him he grasps it, holding it behind his back tucking it into his pack with a greasy-slick grin.
In goblin: "Yer a wise one, Chief. Duke Scarface is a pretty understandin' sort, you could prolly negotiate an' understandin' wi' 'im."
The dwarf then tromps loudly over to the cooridor the party originally entered through, and begins keeping a watch down the hallway for any other activity, rolling up another paper-pipe as his eyes shift between the room and the dark hallway.
11-28-2012, 12:56 AM
At this point combat is basically over, so you can act in whatever order you'd like. The only thing to watch out for is that fairly soon, the blindness effect will end.
11-28-2012, 06:33 AM
"Whew, that was close" Eirin ducked back into the corner preparing to intervent once again, but fervently hoping it would not be necessary.
I make use of the fact that they are blind to retake cover and hide, reading another action to sling Thokket in the off chance he tries to double cross us.
11-29-2012, 10:42 AM
Zaroff sheaths his sword.
"Well, that was easy..."
He turns to Deinara.
"What should we do now, O great mage?"
11-30-2012, 08:20 PM
Easy? I'd like to see you try that next time then, I'm sure you'll do even better.
By Deinara's internal count the glitterdust should be beginning to wear off any moment now, dissolving from a solid cloud of sparkles into loose spots and then disappearing over the next few seconds. Thinking quickly she decides to try maintaining the illusion of control past that.
You have done as I asked, I release your sight.
She waits a moment for the goblins' sight to clear and then speaks again.
Now, I would appreciate it if you told me a little about what has been going on in these dungeons.
12-01-2012, 06:17 AM
Thokket blinks as his vision returns to him. "Thank you for your mercy, great mage," he says in common, trying as best he can to sound polite despite his rough words earlier. "I will tell you the story of my band."
"As apostates and infidels, we were exiled by the others. We arrived at this castle a year ago and found it mostly empty. Some gnomes were living on the ground floor but we drove them away easily. Once we figured out the locking mechanism for the first-level doors we set up a base and collected tolls from travelers on the road nearby. We did this for nearly a year with no incidents, and it was good not to have to wander any more.
A few months ago, we had a bad run-in with a group of travelers who were armed. 4 of us died and 2 were injured. While we recovered, we explored more of this castle below us. Most of the first floor was full of junk, but the second floor had a storeroom full of trinkets and jewelry. Yorf would take these west to sell in a city where goblins are allowed in, and eventually we ended up exploring deeper looking for more. Compared to collecting tolls this was much safer work.
The third floor extends out much further than the second floor and we haven't found a stair down on it. We soon found we weren't the only ones looting this old broken-down place. Some kobolds live in the levels below and we would occasionally run into a scout. After a couple violent encounters they learned to avoid us, retreating when they'd meet us in the tunnels. Pretty often we'd see kobolds fighting each other, so maybe they were too busy with their civil war to deal with us.
A month ago, we stopped seeing kobolds entirely for nearly a week, then when they came back they fought us instead of running away or fighting each other. We sealed up the elevator and decided to start collecting tolls again. We went out and ran into a bunch of armed humans. We had to fight our way out. When we tried opening up the elevator again, the beast came up the shaft and attacked us. Including the 6 of us here, only 10 of us still live."
He pauses for a moment after this long explanation.
"Please don't kill us."
Outside in the hallway, Bargol enjoys his smoke. As the hobgoblin's explanation comes to a close, the dwarf sees an armed half-orc with a dog-like creature at her side come down the stairs with Daerek, the son of Minister Erondalis.
12-01-2012, 09:46 AM
The half-orc continues walking beside Daerek for several steps, halting when she hears a short, soft growl from her armored canine companion. Upon noticing the dwarf, she quietly asks Daerek, "One of the team?"
Is there enough light down here to see with low-light vision? If not, then Mag lights a torch on the way down the stairs. Also, I completely forgot to equip her with flint and steel. Is it alright if I add that purchase now? I'll have to drop the spare dagger to afford it.
12-01-2012, 11:43 AM
Quite the run of bad luck you've had.
Deinara thinks for a moment then speaks again.
We will not be killing you. Instead, you will be helping us. We have been contracted to explore and map this dungeon and to clear it of monsters and your knowledge from living here as you have could prove valuable to those goals. If you aid us well I believe I will be able to negotiate citizenship for you in the town above so you need no longer travel far to the west to sell your goods.
12-01-2012, 08:44 PM
Daerek nods. "This is Bargol, an expert in locks, traps, and dungeoneering. Hello again, Bargol. The Duke released Hixion from the contract, and with the signatures of you four we'd like to add in a fifth member, bringing you back up to full strength. This is Mag, a wilderness expert and capable warrior-- she left from Chroisburg shortly after we did."
In the meantime, Thokket is considering Deinara's proposal. "We'd be glad to help you explore this castle, we know it quite well. But we don't want to go into the kobold-infested area without your with us to protect us and smite the kobolds. Though they are small, they are dangerous and tricky creatures."
The party is carrying a torch somewhere, though I'm not sure who has it at the moment. Daerek is holding a lamp but he won't be down here for too long. You can have the flint/steel for free.
12-02-2012, 04:27 AM
Bargol, Amiable Dwarf-guy
"Hoooo ho ho, Dirk, you bringin' us a pair o' dogs now then?" His laugh is chased from his mouth by a billow of smoke. "Many thanks for the introduction, m' good man. An' welcome aboard, Dag!" The dwarf extends his hand for a shake.
Bargol leads the trio (dogs are people too!) the short way into the midst of the rest of the party. "Intr'duce yerselves, fellas, this here is Gag, an' 'course ye remember Darren."
Don't half-orcs get darkvision? Or am I making things up (it's been a long night)
12-02-2012, 05:56 AM
Mag is a desert half-orc. Basically a half-orc but low-light vision and Run feat instead of Darkvision, and +2 Con, -2 Int instead of +2 Str, -2 Int, -2 Cha.
12-02-2012, 08:08 AM
Mag shakes the dwarf's hand. "It's Mag," she replies matter-of-factly. Indicating the dog, she adds, "and this is Prince."
Seeing that the dwarf appears to be starting on good terms with Mag, Prince wags his tail and sniffs at Bargol's feet.
"So, Bargol, what has the group found so far?"
Can we see the party in the other room yet?
12-02-2012, 11:10 PM
Daerek stands there holding his lamp, and pauses for a moment. "And what smells so bad down here?"
You're just outside the doorway. If you leaned past Bargol you'd be able to see the kneeling goblins and the rest of the group.
12-03-2012, 10:58 PM
Turning to see who Bargol is speaking to, Zaroff notices Daerek, frowning at his comment. "Oh, hullo. Perfect timing. The 'bad smell' would be us doing our jobs; you've clearly never hunted. Anyway, do you know the limits of our authority when it comes to negotiating on behalf of the Duke?"
Noticing Mag, he starts slightly. "Who's the halfer? And what the hell kind a name is Gag?!"
Seeming not to share his attitude, his dog runs up to her and yaps happily, tail wagging.
If humans think goblins are all evil monsters and attack on sight, our plan may need work. Or we could just get the goblins to help us and then kill them later. Whatever works.
Based on what Daerek said earlier, they're probably not viewed that badly, but do we think there would be major problems with them living together with humans?
12-04-2012, 12:22 AM
This isn't going quite as well as Mag had hoped. She bristles slightly at Zaroff's questions. "My name is Mag." Mag's eyes glance over Zaroff's weapons briefly. "And your names?" As she asks, she reaches out to his dog with her left hand, careful not to startle the animal.
Prince turns his attention to the dog as well, tentatively smelling it over.
12-04-2012, 04:50 AM
"Oh, that's good to hear!" says Daerek. "I wouldn't want to interfere with your work. As far as your authority goes, you can evict or kill whatever you find down here. You can negotiate on behalf of the Duke but he'll have the final say on anything that goes on down here. Realistically anything that clears this place out with the smallest body count among his own people and a low cost is fine."
He steps into the room, and says, "friends, this is Mag. Mag, this is Zaroff, Eirin, Deinara of Redfell, and you've already met Bargol." He noticed the prostrate goblins in front of Deinara. "Well, it seems we leave you alone for a half hour and you're already bringing us results! Excellent, excellent. The Duke will be most pleased to hear this."
12-05-2012, 12:16 AM
Deinara turns to face the newcomers, particularly examining the half-orc who would be joining them.
Yes, we've already taken care of a Henga, and have just now contracted the services of these gentlemen as local guides. You can stand up, by the way.
The last line is spoken over her shoulder to the goblinoids arrayed behind her.
12-06-2012, 02:34 PM
Mag is impressed by their quick accomplishments. "What's a Henga?"
She eyes the scene before her as she enters the room, signalling Prince to walk by her side.
Handle Animal (heel, DC 10): taking 10 for 12
12-06-2012, 09:54 PM
A winged hydraform adapted to life underground.
Deinara points at the now-butchered corpse.
They hunt with sound and kill with poison.
12-07-2012, 03:50 AM
Zaroff also points at the Henga's body, indicating the wounds.
"And die to arrows and swords."
12-07-2012, 04:05 AM
Erondalis nods. "Impressive work so far! I can see why Duke Paul picked you." He leans over and whispers to Zaroff and Deinara: "What are you gonna do with these guys once they're done guiding you? It's fine if you kick them out rather than kill them, as long as they don't come back."
12-07-2012, 04:16 AM
"Well, 'at's what diplomacy's fer, an' I reckon that'd be yer own department there, aye? Makin' nice wit' th' gobbos 'd be a fine thing fer th' Duke to git to." He snuffs his paper-pipe out under his boot heel.
"I'd suggest ye get to it elsewhere so we can git our share whipped out in good time."
12-07-2012, 05:07 AM
In the meantime, Thokket translates Deinara's intructions. He turns to her. "There are 9 of us in total, though only Yorf and I are skilled in battle." He gestures to the other Hobgoblin. "Before we get started guiding you, mighty mage, I would like to make a request: could the others not come with us but go free instead? We will earn their freedom with our prowess in combat-- in addition to guiding you we will help battle the monsters you seek to slay."
12-07-2012, 10:53 AM
Mag whispers to Deinara and the others. "If we can trust the others aren't sending out for aid..."
She tries to read the hobgoblin who spoke.
Sense Motive: [roll0]
12-08-2012, 03:25 AM
Thokket looks fearful and unfriendly, but he doesn't seem to be lying. He appears genuinely concerned about the safety of the other goblins.
12-08-2012, 09:22 AM
"..But I really don't get the sense they're hiding anything," she finishes.
12-08-2012, 08:15 PM
They may go free, and you may join them as soon as we have finished mapping and clearing the dungeon.
12-09-2012, 07:28 AM
"Hello Mag, welcome aboard..." greeted the halfling when reuniting with the group.
12-09-2012, 01:18 PM
Bargol reaches for his tobacco pouch again, then thinks better of it. "I reckon we should be gettin' to it then, eh? Cooridor or Elevator? I'm preferin' the cooridor m'self, don't like leavin' an unkown at me back."
12-09-2012, 02:42 PM
"Elevator?" Mag is surprised, having not yet studied the room intently. "Let me take a quick look here, first." At that she walks around the room, observing the corpses, the strange form of the henga's remains, and the elevator mechanism. Prince also explores the space, taking in the wide array of smells.
As they finish their brief survey, Mag and Prince reunite with the group. Prince sniffs at the tobacco left at Bargol's feet, then sniffs at the dwarf himself.
"Careful not to drop those, if you're ever being hunted," Mag says matter-of-factly, indicating the end of the paper pipe which caught her dog's attention. Addressing the rest of the group, she adds, "Any way's the same to me."
12-09-2012, 04:39 PM
"Seems ta me that either way leaves an unknown at our backs. The goblins said that monster climbed out of the pit on its own, not by using an elevator."
Turning to Thokket, he asks "You've been here for a long time. Have you cleared out the corridors on this level?"
12-09-2012, 09:08 PM
Erondalis passes around the updated contract to be signed and rounds up the noncombatant goblins. "Once you've signed the updated contract, I'll have it delivered back to the Duke. I'll also make sure these goblins make it safely to the next town so they stay out of our hair."
Thokket and Yorf gather with you and Thokket pulls out a crude map of the first floor.
"These are the rooms we live in-- they used to be workshops for making crafts. There are some meeting halls and a store-room in the back behind our living quarters, and we've cleared that are out. Two doorways out of the meeting hall have been blocked by fallen rubble.
Across the hallway from the elevator room is a mostly empty room with chairs, tables, and a bar. Nothing lives there.
The hallway curves to the right at the end, and there is a stairwell down that is partially blocked by rubble. We've never managed to go down it but I wouldn't worry too much-- nothing has ever come up. Also at the end of the hallway is a huge room full of plants and fungus. We checked it out once but there was nothing valuable in there and we were attacked by animated mushrooms and had to retreat. They didn't advance far beyond the doorways."
12-09-2012, 09:22 PM
Having already signed the updated contract, Mag focuses her attention on the goblins' map, looking over Thokket's shoulder. She silently parses his words while assessing the situation. Animated mushrooms.. that's a new one. She's made up her mind, but waits for her companions to speak.
Animated mushrooms. Niiiice. This is going to be a fun and very interesting adventure! And Deinara will be happy!
12-11-2012, 09:54 AM
Zaroff turns back to Bargol.
"I agree that we don't want to leave an unknown at our backs. But I think that's best done by headin' down the elevator; this level's like to be fairly safe, if the goblins have been living on it."
That said, he ambles over to Daerek, and scrawls his name on the updated contract without even making a pretense of scanning its contents.
12-11-2012, 01:31 PM
"I 'spose I'm fer whatever yer concoctin'...no hair off me beard there." the dwarf replies as he winces, nipping his thumb again and scrawling his name on the new contract.
"Can't ye just put in an addendum or somethin'? Ye can only get so much blood from stone ye know!"
12-11-2012, 02:36 PM
"Yes, I'm terribly sorry about that," says Erondalis, "But the way the contract is written we can't do addendums without the permission of the full group." As he collects the last of the signatures, the noncombatant goblins begin packing up their belongings.
Over the course of the next hour, the goblins move their possessions out of the complex of rooms behind the elevator room under your watchful eyes. There are some weapons-- clubs, mostly, as well as clothing, food, and some coin. Eventually, the goblins are cleared out, and Erondalis goes with them.
"So," says Thokket, "What now?"
12-11-2012, 04:49 PM
Bargol pulls the waterskin-wrapped henga poison glands from his pack during the ensuing hour while the goblins pack their things, applying one dose to each of three hand-crossbow bolts and marking them with a piece of chalk. He loads the third bolt into his hand-crossbow.
As he's applying the poison to the first bolt, he tries to light a paper-pipe, and inadvertantly jabs himself with the end of the poisoned bolt as muscle memory confuses the bolt with his tobacco. A look of fear clouds his face for a moment, then a look of concentration, and a fierce belch errupts from his belly. "No harm done. Sad to lose the dose though..."
As he crushes yet another paper-pipe under foot, "Now we find some more beasties to slay, an' check the lower levels, I'm thinkin'."
He holsters the hand-crossbow with a smirk and places the other poisoned bolt in the rear of the thigh-quiver.
5% chance to whoopsie with the poison.
12-11-2012, 04:50 PM
Deinara tries to hide her excitement at the mention of the mushrooms. She had done some reading on animate flora but it wasn't something she had any sort of experience with.
I think it would be best to clear this floor entirely before moving on to the next, I would much rather have a clear path to the surface so we can escape if need be.
12-11-2012, 05:11 PM
Deinara's knowledge of animate plants is somewhat limited but she knows they're typically immune to poison, paralysis, and mind-affecting effects, as well as attacks that are based on someone's anatomy (crits and sneak attacks). Animated Fungi in particular are probably slow and tough but not very smart.
12-11-2012, 06:24 PM
Mag nods after Deinara's remark. "I agree with her. This level's almost clear. We should finish it."
Also for the mushrooms, both rolls if they apply.
Knowledge (nature): [roll0]
Knowledge (dungeoneering): [roll1]
12-11-2012, 06:35 PM
Mag knows everything Deinara does about the animated fungi, and thinks that there's probably a source of moisture nearby if the fungi are growing in a particular area.
12-11-2012, 10:11 PM
"Well folks, I 'spose we're ready to go mushroom huntin'! Save some for the stew, eh?"
The dwarf furrows his brow and gives the elevator a sour look. "Beastie came up through there, aye? Can't have that happenin' behind o' us I reckon...breakin' the durn thing won't do a lick o' good neither...let's see here...
Bargol's head vanishes inside his pack for a moment and a few items come flying out over his shoulder. He sticks his tongue out between his teeth and clamps down slightly on it in concentration as he scratches some figures in the dirt, interrupted every few seconds by him sticking his thumb up and moving his head to and fro, examining the elevator mechanisms.
"Right then." He loops a length of silk rope around the edge of the shaft like a border, taking one end of the rope and affixing it to a grappling hook. He drenches a thick blanket in water and ties the other free end of the rope around it like a bundle and leaves it near the shaft hole. The crafty (?) dwarf hooks the grapple to the lever that opperates the elevator. "If a beastie crawls outta there, he pulls on the rope climbin' out, and the weight pulls th' lever, either squishin' the beastie, or makin' a racket, aye?"
Bargol gives a shrug to his companions like he did something wrong, then merrily sets off to check on dinner the mushrooms.
[roll0] <--- that's about right lol
Items used: 50ft silk rope, grappling hook, winter blanket, and a waterskin worth of water
12-13-2012, 07:40 AM
With the elevator somewhat securely trapped, the group prepares then makes their way towards the entrance to the lair of the fungi, led by Thokket and Yorf. As you approach the double-doors, clearly visible is an underbrush of algae and scum that coats the floor and the lower sections of the walls and the doors, which are currently shut and barred from your side.
Yorf hefts his club nervously. Thokket turns to the group. "This is the place. They don't bother us as long as the door's closed."
12-13-2012, 09:38 AM
Zaroff readies his bow, then bows courteously to Mag.
12-13-2012, 11:14 AM
Bargol shoulders his way to the door before anyone has a chance to touch it. Trying to keep quiet Do plants got ears? I wonder... he pantamimes the danger of spore toxin and his desire to check the door before they go in.
Once his mime-show is complete, he inspects the door for dangers unseen...
If he finds no danger, he merrily indicates that the way is safe.
If he finds danger, he attemtps to neutralize the danger, Bargol's Disable Device is at a +10 and I trust you!
[roll0] and [roll1] +2 if it's a stone-involved thing.
12-13-2012, 04:35 PM
Bargol searches the area around the door and finds that the hinges on the door are rusted and squeaky. They will make a lot of noise when the door opens and alert anything that's capable of hearing that the door opens.
Bargol pulls out his thieves' tools and greases the hinge to remove the loud noise it will make when the door is opened.
He seems to have done an okay job, but you won't know until you try the door.
12-13-2012, 04:46 PM
Mag is a little confused by Zaroff's courteous bow, unsure whether it is meant in sarcasm or sincerity. With a brief, indifferent glance, and a very slight nod, she steps ahead of the archer as Bargol scrutinizes the door.
At that, she draws forth a torch, quickly lights it, and turns back to the group, scanning them. She looks to Yorf, who is holding only a club. "Can you carry this?" If he assents, Mag hands him the torch; if not, she looks at each of her companions in turn until someone volunteers to carry it.
With that, the half-orc steps to the door. She surveys the underbrush coating the floor, hoping to glean an insight or two. At that, she unbars the door as quietly as she can, glances back to check that the company is ready, draws her club, and opens the doors.
Knowledge rolls in case the nature of the algae indicates anything she didn't glean from knowing about the mushrooms; ignore them if you don't think there's anything new to learn here. Move Silently is for opening the door.
Knowledge (nature): [roll0]
Knowledge (dungeoneering): [roll1]
Move Silently: [roll2]
12-13-2012, 10:44 PM
The algae is just mundane algae that grows when there's damp rocks and dirt around. It's a little slippery but won't actually have a chance to make you slip unless the floor is slanted.
Yorf looks at Mag dumbly until he realizes she's asking him to grab the torch. He grasps it in his left hand and holds it overhead to provide light. He follows closely behind Mag as she approaches the door.
Thokket follows closely behind, gripping his long blade tightly in one hand and his shield in the other.
12-14-2012, 04:13 AM
Eirin closed to the door, waiting for his companions to clear the way, meanwhile keeping his ears focused to percieve any threat.
Move Silently: [roll]1d20+4
12-14-2012, 04:15 AM
Sorry I fumbled the roll, damn copy/paste
Move Silently: [roll0]
12-14-2012, 12:18 PM
Deinara stays behind the others, her crossbow at the ready and her eyes fixed upon the room beyond.
12-15-2012, 06:56 PM
Mag unbars the doors and pulls, swinging them open with some effort. You are immediately engulfed in the musty smell of damp, rotting vegetation as warm hair breezes out of the room. The room extends about 30 feet to your left, then forwards and to the right beyond the range of your vision.
The ground is level and mildly damp in front of you. It is covered in algae and shoots of mushroom and pole-like, stark white trees. The trees are about 3 inches in diameter and grow from the floor up to about the height of a tall man. Their branches are curled and bulbous, a stark contrast to their straight trunks. In several places you see mushrooms growing out of the white trees on the base or where branches fork off from the trunks themselves.
There are several visible depressions in the ground, about 3 feet in diameter and several inches deep, as though a barrel were pressed into the algae-covered floor with great force then moved away. Two small mounds are within sight as well, about the size of a foot stool and covered in algae and fungal shoots. Two swords lie just beyond the doors, rusted and pitted with age spent in damp conditions.
There are no signs of the animated fungus creatures described by Thokket-- at least not yet.
You hear the dripping of water in the distance.
12-15-2012, 09:08 PM
Mag looks carefully into the room, listening as well to see if she notices anything else. It is a strange sight, and Mag wonders what might have made those depressions on the ground. Prince stays at her side, taken aback by the strength of the smells.
If she notices nothing new, Mag glances back at her companions for assurances, before taking a couple steps to lead the way. She leads with her shielded right arm, and is careful where she steps. Prince follows her closely.
Spot: [roll0] with low-light vision
Knowledge (nature): [roll2] -- for the trees, the depressions, any further knowledge, if applicable
Knowledge (dungeonering): [roll3] -- the same
Spot: [roll4] also with low-light vision
also, remember that he has scent
Tell me if I shouldn't make so many passive rolls. I don't recall if you were making secret perception rolls. And I'm rolling knowledge just in case, not because I expect to learn something every time I try it.
12-16-2012, 05:28 AM
Bargol follows behind Mag and Prince, eyes wary of danger and axe held casually at the ready. "Where's them mushrooms at? It's about meal time and I'd like to gobble down a good stew... His lips smack as his feet pad across the room.
12-18-2012, 09:20 AM
"Yeah, as long as we don't end INTO the pot" murmured an exasperated Eirin, while keeping pace with the rest.
12-18-2012, 10:15 AM
Bow still readied, Zaroff follows the group into the room, scanning for movement.
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