The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #211
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown III

    Orfeo and Cesar looked to Elsa. They weren't going anywhere she wasn't.
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    WFRP 2E - Tales of Perilous Adventure
    The Hour After Midnight
    The Lord of Lost Heart
    Ill Met By Morrslieb

    Dark Heresy 1E - Wake of the Byzantium
    Episodes: I, II, III, IV, V

    WFRP 2E - The Bloody Crown
    Threads: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X

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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown III

    "Is it something that can be killed... Or destroyed? Would our chances be better against the dead men?" asked Sieghard.

    Elsa shrugged. How could she possibly know?

    "Let's... let's see if we can destroy whatever is causing this. It might be our only chance," Adelbert suggested.

    Elsabeth's hesitation dissipated, and a somewhat maniacal grin spread over her face. Destroying things was what she was born to do. "I like the way you're thinking, Adelbert. Let's do this."
    Last edited by -Sentinel-; 2014-05-25 at 09:09 AM.
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    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, rogue pyromancer

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    Oh wow. I will never again underestimate [our characters'] ability to turn friendly conversation into a possible life or death situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeSwordfish View Post
    Ludo has a crowbar, if that helps.

  3. - Top - End - #213
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    Sieghard

    "May as well," Sieghard replied. "Whatever it is, it can't be any worse than trying to get through all of the dead."

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    "Can you two try and hold that door?" Ludo asked the two soldiers, "Or defend the bottom of the stairs? It's the best way to keep El-Beatrix safe."

    With a bag of gold in his hand and the undead out of sight, Ludo was almost recovering his composure.
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  5. - Top - End - #215
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown III

    Orfeo snorted. "You mean best way to save your hide," he said. "I'm not dying for you, little man."

    Cesar nodded. "Where she goes, we go."

    Leaving the stairway at a trot, the party hurried out into the broad expanse of the hall. Sparing a glance backwards at the nearest of the giant stelae as they passed, Ludo could just make out its face, the limits of the torchlight casting long, black shadows from every line of the carving.

    From the neck down, it had the body of a bare-chested, well-proportioned man... but the head that stood on its shoulders was the head of a vulture. Such an abomination could surely only be touched by Chaos... and yet the way it stood seemed more regal than savage.

    There was something else too - a discreet, unornamented balcony that he could just make out running around the back of the carved obelisks, high off the ground. Unfortunately, Ludo didn't have time to linger. The sounds of pursuit had already reached the hidden door.

    Bony feet falling in unison, skeletal soldiers began to file out into the hall, two by two. Emerging from behind the carving of the vulture god, they did not give chase. Instead they spread out, forming a broad line of shields and spears. Ludo counted seventeen, including one limping, battered specimen that looked like the one Orfeo had pitched into the pit.

    Raising a trumpet to its grinning teeth, one skeleton sounded a mournful blast. When the endless echoes had at last died away, another sound answered them. Corroded hinges screamed, and the verdigrised bronze gates at the far end of the hall ground inwards as four skeletons pushed them slowly open, yellowed vertebrae standing out from their bent backs.

    Through the archway, a column of the dead came marching. Twenty or more, some carried spears and tall shields like the ones before. Others held long axes with strange, crescent-shaped blades, the ancient metal dull and mottled with corrosion. More than one had sustained some kind of battle damage, split shields and broken ribs being much in evidence. It looked like the troll had not gone quietly.

    At their head marched a skeleton in scale armour. Though bronze had lost its shine, and the cloak that hung from its shoulders was now little more than a rotted cobweb of linen strands, its attire clearly marked it as a leader. Viggo fancied the lights in its empty eye-sockets flared a little brighter when it caught sight of them.

    Reaching to its hip, it drew a curved sword that flashed blue in the reflected light from Elsa's spear. Ludo recognised the blade at once - it was the same design as the strange sword in the chapel at Alvarran. Levelling the point towards the intruders, it made a dry, hissing sound, somewhere between a command and a death-rattle. The skeletons' spears swung down.

    They didn't seem any faster than their brothers - indeed, the light was leaving them behind as Viggo and Elsa ran for the steps. Adelbert's heavy pack was making him lag behind, but even so there was a healthy space of floor between the seven fleeing mortals and both groups of skeletons. Unfortunately that didn't seem to discourage them. More bronze horns blared, and both regiments began to march inexorably forwards, as if to the beat of an invisible drum.

    First up the stairs, Elsa darted through the darkened archway with her spear lighting the way - and saw to her relief that it had gates. Bronze-plated and quite substantial-looking, they hung open, but could hopefully be closed.

    What she saw inside was less reassuring. The interior of the chapel, or shrine, or whatever it was, was a single room. Intricate reliefs marched clockwise around the walls, seeming to depict some sort of narrative. Incense bowls lay tumbled in the corners of the room, their stands knocked over or rotted to dust. At the back, a raised stone platform held three intact objects - an ornate wooden chair, an empty lectern, and a deep, thin chest, almost as long as a man. All had once been highly ornamented with gold and lapis lazuli, but the gilt was now cracked and peeling like the bark of a dead tree.

    There was no other way in, and no other way out.

    Elsa Only
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    Inside these walls, the Dhar was so thick it was hard to breathe. This was a wound in the world - a place that had transgressed against the laws of nature. The Amethyst wind had been broken and chained, forced to work against its nature - and those chains still held.

    The rustling voices were all around, saturating the air. Elsa could no longer hear the sounds of the battle, nor could she understand the language they were speaking. There was only one word she could make out, from the frequency of its repetition alone - the word Nagash.

    The voices were thickest around the lectern. To her second sight, the black oil seemed to be bleeding from its worm-eaten wood, bubbling up from the crevices between the flagstones beneath it. Just looking at it made her eyes ache.

    OOC:
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    Casting in this location comes with an extra Chaos die.
    Last edited by LCP; 2014-05-25 at 01:21 PM.
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    WFRP 2E - Tales of Perilous Adventure
    The Hour After Midnight
    The Lord of Lost Heart
    Ill Met By Morrslieb

    Dark Heresy 1E - Wake of the Byzantium
    Episodes: I, II, III, IV, V

    WFRP 2E - The Bloody Crown
    Threads: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X

  6. - Top - End - #216
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown III

    Viggo Hirtzel

    Viggo had been unusually silent, he'd been focusing on catching his breath at first and then the astonishment of finding a way out what had appeared to be a dead end had stolen his words also.

    As the neat ranks of skeletons poured into the chamber though he soon found his tongue again. "Morr's Balls!" he cursed roughly. "It's a bloody army of them!" He quickly sped up the steps after Elsa. "Oh that's right, of course.. another sodding dead end!" He held the torch up trying to cast as much light around their would be tomb as he could.

    He was beginging to feel a little dizzy, almost light headed. It was not a pleasant feeling. "What is this place? A throne room or something?" He asked waving the torch in the direction of the ancient chair. "I wonder what's in that?" He asked once more, this time indicating the slim chest. It almost seemed as if he'd forgotten their pursuers, except for the ghastly paleness of his face and the wild look in his eyes.

  7. - Top - End - #217
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown III

    Quote Originally Posted by Northern Lad View Post
    "I wonder what's in that?" He asked once more, this time indicating the slim chest.
    "How could we possibly find out?" snapped Elsa irritably.

    For some reason, she seemed more interested in the empty lectern. She ran her gaze over it and under it, took a hold of it and tried to lift it.

    There's something right here. I want to know what.

    No point in facing the skeletons with steel and fire; it might make a glorious last stand, but no one would live to tell the tale. If anything could save them, it was in this room. Of course it might just as well destroy them, but they had nothing to lose.
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    Playing:
    The Bloody Crown (WFRP) as Elsabeth Holt, rogue pyromancer

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSummoner View Post
    Oh wow. I will never again underestimate [our characters'] ability to turn friendly conversation into a possible life or death situation.
    Quote Originally Posted by LeSwordfish View Post
    Ludo has a crowbar, if that helps.

  8. - Top - End - #218
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    Sieghard

    "That's what you're thinking about!?" Sieghard spat incredulously as he darted up the stairs. Setting his coins on the floor inside the shrine, he went for the doors. "Help me with these, we'll figure out what to do after we've got something between us and them!"

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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown III

    Ludo moved over to the chest and attempted to open the lid. If there was anything helpful in there, he really really wanted to know.

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    If needed, Pick Lock roll of (1d100)[95] vs 49.
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    Adelbert Schreiber

    Adelbert moved to help Sieghard with the doors, though he glanced at Elsa wondering silently if the wizardess had some sort of plan to get them out of this.

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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown III

    Viggo Hirtzel

    "How could we possibly find out?" snapped Elsa irritably.
    Viggo glared briefly at Elsa and for the first time he noticed the nasty slash across her cheek. He tapped his own cheek with a finger. "You're going to need a new tattoo."

    "So this is the plan is it?" His voice had taken on the high pitched quality of somebody close to the edge of panic. "We're to sit in here and hope they starve to death?!" He laughed manically at his own wit. "Because, I'm going to be honest, by the looks of these chaps hunger isn't their number one priority!" He moved over to Ludo to see if he could help with the chest.

  12. - Top - End - #222
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    The ancient doors squealed like pigs being butchered as Adelbert and Sieghard tried to push them shut. Centuries of corrosion had made shapeless lumps of their bronze hinges, flakes of green-crusted metal falling as they turned. Still, slowly, they turned.

    Orfeo and Cesar lent their weight to push, and swiftly the resistance gave. The gates slammed shut with a sound like the striking of a giant gong.

    Breathing out, the two mercenaries glanced at each other. They did not have long to rest - without some means to hold them shut, the doors could easily be pushed back open by weight of numbers from outside. They had metal handles on the inside that would perhaps accept an improvised bar - but where to find one?

    Behind them, Elsa took hold of the lectern and tried to lift it. It was surprisingly light - and surprisingly fragile. The upper plate came away in her hands, part of the stand disintegrating into rot and sawdust where she had accidentally wrenched it free. Rocking on its narrow base, the stand teetered for a moment before toppling slowly over, breaking into several pieces on the stone floor. It seemed the peeling gilt ornamentation had been the only thing holding its rotten wood together.

    Elsa Only
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    The disintegration of the lectern had done nothing to affect the darkening of the Aethyr in this place. The wound in the world still hung in the air where the lectern had stood, bleeding corruption. It was thickest at about chest height, where a book might have rested on the lectern while it still stood - but there was no book to be seen. The voices moaned and whispered in Elsa's ears, dry as the rustling of cracked pages.

    Standing this close to the centre was enough to make her senses spin. She felt nauseous, dizzy - but with the dizziness came an edge of exhilaration. Though little more than a shadow, this was power beyond anything she had felt at the Bright College. The very stones of this place were soaked in it.

    It felt like standing at the very edge of a mighty waterfall, and looking down. Somewhere in the untamed recesses of her mind, there was the treacherous urge to jump.


    At the back of the room, Ludo and Viggo had levered over the chest. Inside, there was no hoard of golden coins - just a single, long object, lying on a bed of rotted silk.

    It was a spear. The shaft, though straight and smooth, looked to be in little better shape than the lectern. The spearhead was a different matter. Heavy and broad-bladed, it was made from steel or polished iron, and expertly gilded.

    Its edge was still sharp as a razor, untouched by time. In the centre of its flat head, the familiar winged sunburst had been engraved in angular lines - and in the centre of that was a symbol that Ludo was almost certain was a Dwarfish rune.

    The flickering light of Viggo's torch cast long shadows from the figures engraved into the encircling mural. A man in the headdress of an important person was stood directly over the chest, a sickle-sword like the one carried by the skeletons' commander upraised in the act of smiting some tiny, fleeing orcs. Somehow the shadows made his expression look disapproving of the looters crouching at his feet.

    OOC:
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    Ludo may test SL:Khazalid at +20 to recognise what rune (I do remember rightly that he speaks Khazalid and has Read/Write?).
    Last edited by LCP; 2014-05-27 at 07:52 PM.
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    WFRP 2E - Tales of Perilous Adventure
    The Hour After Midnight
    The Lord of Lost Heart
    Ill Met By Morrslieb

    Dark Heresy 1E - Wake of the Byzantium
    Episodes: I, II, III, IV, V

    WFRP 2E - The Bloody Crown
    Threads: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X

  13. - Top - End - #223
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    Adelbert Schreiber

    Adelbert did not comment on the spear, at least not yet. He was too preoccupied searching for some sort of bar for the door to really register it.

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    Untrained Search Roll

    (1d100)[74] vs. 23

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    Sieghard

    "Does anyone have any any rope?" Sieghard asked. He didn't know if it would be enough to hold the door on its own, but if nothing else it would buy some time to find something sturdier.

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    Ludo has rope. Assuming he's fine with us using it, Sieghard will use it to tie the handles... Probably won't hold forever, but it should stall the skeletons for a while. After that, two search rolls vs 36.

    (1d100)[91] to find something better to bar the door.
    (1d100)[74] to look for any sort of hidden doorways like the one that was in the passage before.

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    Viggo Hirtzel

    "Does anyone have any any rope?"
    Viggo's head whipped from side to side as he frantically looked about the small enclosed room, before spotting something right under his nose. Sticking out of Ludo's pack was the end of a rope. "Ludo, can we use this?" He asked even as he he began to relieve Ludo of the rope. He took the Halfling's walking stick for good measure and dashed over to where Sieghard was stood, handing them over to the mercenary.

  16. - Top - End - #226
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    Sieghard

    Unconcerned where the rope and stick had come from, Sieghard fed the rope through the handles and began tying it as tight as he could. Once he finished, he shoved Ludo's walking stick through as well. He had his doubts as to how long it would hold with the mass of undead on the other side, but hopefully it would last until they could find something stronger. If they could find something stronger.

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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown III

    Sieghard had hardly finished driving the stick between the handles when the sound of marching feet came to a halt on the dais outside. The gates shook violently as something tried to push them open from outside - then fell still.

    Muffled through the bronze-plated doors, a ghastly dry voice reached their ears. It spoke in a tongue that even Adelbert had never heard - but what it said sounded like a demand.
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    WFRP 2E - Tales of Perilous Adventure
    The Hour After Midnight
    The Lord of Lost Heart
    Ill Met By Morrslieb

    Dark Heresy 1E - Wake of the Byzantium
    Episodes: I, II, III, IV, V

    WFRP 2E - The Bloody Crown
    Threads: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X

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    Sieghard

    Sieghard's response sounded like an obscene suggestion.

    Relieved that (at least for now) they were safe, he started checking the walls for a hidden door. They had already stumbled across one, perhaps there was another. Impatience and frustration soon got the better of him and his attention turned to the spear Ludo and Viggo had discovered.

    "Looks like someone wanted to keep this safe. I wonder how much it's worth."

  19. - Top - End - #229
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    The sunken reliefs covered the walls of the shrine from floor to ceiling, covering what space wasn't taken up by engraved figures with columns and columns of the incomprehensible picture-script. Doubly sheltered, they were still almost as sharp as the day they had been carved. They seemed to tell a story, running clockwise from the wall behind the chest. Sieghard had to hold the torch close to make out the detail of what they showed.

    Back Wall
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    A bare-chested, male figure with the trappings of a ruler strikes down fleeing orcs, portrayed much smaller than he is.

    A trio of humans stand on a riverbank of tall, regularly-spaced reeds. Opposite them are three others - squat figures with square beards that greatly resemble dwarfs. They have been portrayed in the same strange clothes as the humans. The poses of both sides suggest negotiation or peaceful greeting.

    Elegant buildings rise beside the river. Their architectural style is quite unlike anything in the Old World today, but bears a striking resemblance to the crumbling fortifications outside.

    A winged sun shines down over all three scenes.


    Right Wall
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    A huge figure on a throne holds up his arm, pointing left to right. This carving has been vandalised, its face deliberately chiselled away - but the hand that points is skeletally gaunt. A sense of the sculptor's terror pervades every line.

    A smaller figure, still large enough to dominate its section of wall, rides a chariot in the direction of the pointing finger. He wears a jackal mask, or has the head of a jackal - it is impossible to tell which. Tiny human figures flee from his horses, or lie dead in mounds under the wheels of the chariot. Files of equally tiny skeletal soldiers march above and below him, in the same direction.

    The jackal-headed man sits upon a throne of his own, looking back the way he has come. In one hand he holds a book, in the other a staff like a shepherd's crook. Supplicants grovel at his feet, pressing their foreheads to the floor, while two women wearing flowing robes and serpent headdresses are presented to him in chains. A slight but abrupt change in the colour of the stone suggests the following scenes are later additions.

    Lines of tiny figures labour in chains to build what appears to be a great stone pyramid. A charioteer in scale armour, much larger, leads a file of horsemen against a line of skeletal spearmen that separate him from the slaves. The dwarfs from the first wall march behind him.


    Front Wall (containing the gates)
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    On the left side of the gates: three men and one dwarf stand to either side of the completed pyramid. Beneath the pyramid, the jackal-headed figure writhes in a stiff-limbed pose, pierced by arrows and pushed down by a long spear wielded by one of the men. The winged sun looks down over the scene.

    On the right side of the gates: the pyramid stands alone, surrounded by fields of drooping, withered stalks - wheat or reeds, it's hard to tell. Seen through the earth beneath it, the bones of a jackal lie curled up as if in sleep, fully animal. The two moons look down over the scene.


    Left Wall
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    A man sits on the empty throne, a spear in his right hand. On his left, two robed priests - one man and one woman - bow low. On his right, two dwarfs turn their backs.

    A troop of chariots ride out against a sea of tiny orcs. It seems the sculptor never finished this scene - the rest of the wall is left blank...


    After a surprisingly long silence, the voice outside seemed to decide to stop waiting for an answer it could understand. The doors began to thud and shudder with the repeated blows of heavy axes...
    Last edited by LCP; 2014-05-30 at 03:31 PM.
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    WFRP 2E - Tales of Perilous Adventure
    The Hour After Midnight
    The Lord of Lost Heart
    Ill Met By Morrslieb

    Dark Heresy 1E - Wake of the Byzantium
    Episodes: I, II, III, IV, V

    WFRP 2E - The Bloody Crown
    Threads: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X

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    Ludo flinched as the hammering started again, distracting him from his fingertip perusal of the walls. "If only there was some way to... wait!"

    He didn't speak much Khazalid- there had been very few dwarves in the Sermena mines in his youth, and they were long gone now, but he had enough to get by. Perhaps, if these people had fought dwarves...

    <"Stop!"> he shouted, the first khazalid word that came into his head, his conjugation failing him. <"What want you?">

    OOC
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    Search, on the back wall: (1d100)[28] vs 48

    Speak Language (Khazalid) (1d100)[31] vs 48 again. How many of these rolls do I need? Any? None?

    Last edited by LeSwordfish; 2014-05-31 at 04:49 AM.
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    Adelbert Schreiber

    Adelbert followed Sighard around studying the reliefs, hoping they would stir something in his memory. Perhaps they would...

    He had known dwarves in Averland and he knew history, so maybe he had heard some obscure tale somewhere of strange southern dwarves, a human kingdom and dead men.

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    Academic Knowlege - History check.

    (1d100)[51] vs. 46

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    The hammering axe-blows stopped abruptly when Ludo called out. There was a tense silence - then, as at some unseen signal, the axes began again.

    Feeling his heart sink, Ludo slumped back against the carving of the meeting by the river. With the softest of clicks, the hand of one of the dwarfs sunk into the wall - and a square doorway just wide enough for one man swung open beneath the winged sun.
    Last edited by LCP; 2014-05-31 at 03:16 PM.
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    WFRP 2E - Tales of Perilous Adventure
    The Hour After Midnight
    The Lord of Lost Heart
    Ill Met By Morrslieb

    Dark Heresy 1E - Wake of the Byzantium
    Episodes: I, II, III, IV, V

    WFRP 2E - The Bloody Crown
    Threads: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X

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    "Oh." Ludo said, looking back and forth between the wall and the doorway. "Oh, well, this works too."

    He peered into the darkness hopefully.

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    (1d100)[80] vs 48 Perception. What can Ludo see down the tunnel, with the help of Night Vision?
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    A short stone corridor led back into shadow. Its walls were unadorned, its ceiling low. After about six yards, it broadened out into some wider space. Through the darkness, Ludo could just make out the suggestion of an ascending set of steps.
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    WFRP 2E - Tales of Perilous Adventure
    The Hour After Midnight
    The Lord of Lost Heart
    Ill Met By Morrslieb

    Dark Heresy 1E - Wake of the Byzantium
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    WFRP 2E - The Bloody Crown
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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown III

    Adelbert Schreiber

    Adelbert had grown frustrated at his lack of attempts to decipher the gylphs but he was awoken from dark thoughts by Ludo's voice. Turning he hurried towards the Halfling. A moment later he stood, looking down into the corridor.

    "Ludo..." Adelbert began voice strained with emotion as he realised they might have a chance. "... do you think it could be trapped?"

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    Sieghard

    "There weren't any around the gold," Sieghard interrupted. There was still a bit of bitterness in his voice from losing most of his. "And even if the way is trapped, it can't be any worse than what the dead men will do to us if we aren't gone by the time they make it through the door."

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    Adelbert Schreiber

    Adelbert nodded. "True... let's go. I'm thinking the worst injured in the middle."

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    Ludo was all too happy to leave, taking a moment to poke around for some manner of closing the door from the other side.

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    Default Re: [WFRP] The Bloody Crown III

    The door was a solid stone slab, its motion surprisingly smooth after all these years. It looked as if it simply swung to - but once it was closed, Ludo was far from sure about how to get it open again.

    There came a rending crunch from the gates, and a part of the bronze sheeting on their side bent inwards. They didn't have long to decide.
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    Elsa blew out a breath. "Come on." She was the one with the torch, and she knew for a fact that she ran faster than the others. Holding her flaming spear high, she headed up the stairs at a swift pace.
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    Ludo has a crowbar, if that helps.

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