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Choking on the thick air, he gives up on getting anything from his horse and simply cuts it loose before scuttling back to the mouth of the pit. Raspy words string themselves together and his hand comes to rest on Thokk's arm. Magic surges through the dwarf and he suddenly feels an odd shift in his physical form, the prospect of climbing down the pit suddenly becomes a much more viable one.
((OOC: Abandoning my earlier idea and using 2 turns to untie or cut free my horse, then cast spider climb on Thokk.
edit: seeing that there is a secure rope, Khazrael will simply skitter down the hole. I keep changing it.))
Tiriel notes the water depth before speaking.
"It looks like the water level isn't too high down there. And if the water's moving - the Vampires won't like it, right Callos? I'd rather not split up until we need to - and I don't think we'd be able to take them right now in a fight, we've too many wounded.
"I'm going to help Khazrael cut the horses free - they shouldn't be left here and the might provide a distraction."
Tiriel moves over to the horses and slashes any reins or hobbles she finds. Sorry, I never even got to name you. She thinks as she cuts her warhorse free, giving it a solid whack on it's flank to get it moving.
She then returns and quickly shoves her bow and other gear into her pack before returning to the edge of the shaft. "Let's go. If the water's too high for some, one of us will carry you."
Katrin finishes tying the ropes together and hands the end to Tiriel. "You hold it, we go down two at a time. Then you fly down the shaft with the rope. There's not enough time to secure it to anything." She coughs from the smoke. "Who's going first? If no one else wants to, I will."
The lizardman had been staring at the wall with a hard face as the others debated.
The deep unknown vs the danger outside.
He stared as if he could see the vampires without and was giving them a glare of hatred. It galled him that they were retreating instead of fighting but a wise hunter knows when to make the prey come to him.
Stripping his winter clothes off, he stuffs it into his backpack to keep it dry and prays that the water would be warm enough as he prepares to leave with the others.
Placing his hands in the intervals of rope between Tiriel's hands he helps her hold the rope and nods to Katrin.
Even at Lissa's height, the smoke is getting rather thick. Glancing in Rasko's direction, she follows his example and hurriedly strips off her fur-lined cloak, overtunic and leg wraps, stuffing them into her haversack. There isn't time to do anything about the shirt and trousers under her armor. She unloads her crossbow and puts that into the haversack as well, buckling a leather cap over her quiver. Water and bowstrings don't mix very well.
"Lightest should go first; that way if the knot fails or the rope breaks, we minimize the damage. I'll start." Into the haversack again. This time she comes up with a large leather-covered box, which she tosses in Achkby's direction. "There you go, climbing gear in a proper size. I don't need it for a rope-and-wall climb, but I've got a good deal of practice." Lissa doesn't look terribly thrilled at the prospect of taking the plunge, but she takes a deep breath and grabs hold of the rope anyway. I've got a bad feeling about this... maybe it's just the fact that every time I end up underground, something nasty happens. At least I stocked up on rations this time! "See you at the bottom! If you hear prolonged and agonized screaming, don't come down!" With that cheery note, the gnome starts climbing.
OOC: According to the d20 climbing guide, the DC for climbing a rope with a wall to brace against is 5. Lissa has an effective Climb rank of 5 (that's counting her Str penalty), so she'll automatically make it unless the wall is slippery. The box she gave Achkby is a Small climbing kit.
Tiriel nods to Katrine and wraps it around her hands to improve her grip. "I'll do what I can. Everyone needs to get down as fast as possible - I think we can hold it for 2 men at a time, maybe more. Just everyone hurry."
Lumpy shakes his head in impotent furstration, but nonetheless draws his dagger and heads for the horses. He slashes the straps for any and all saddlebags he can find, throwing them over his own shoulders, before cutting the traces that keep the horses themselves immobilized. He raises himself to his full height despite the smoke, screaming as he slaps an armored palm against each horses hindquarters in turn and shoves them towards the gaping entrance.
Once he's finished, he returns to Tiriel, eyes watering and acough rising in his throat,
"Do ya know much about climbing? Ain't no room fer flying down there. Whoever goes last needs ta climb it."
He turns his back to her, scanning the room intently for intrusion, and the roof for signs of collapse.
((OOC Gathering saddlebags and scattering the horses. Lumpy will climb down second last or last. He's got a decent climb modifier if someone has to do it without a rope.))
A look of sorrow on his face, he helps the others untie the horses. They're never going to make it... He's coughing all the way.
He will be one of the last to go. He has not got much experience with climbing, what with spending much of his life in the forests, but in the Great Dale, some rangers double as firemen, and he intends to honor their motto : "First in, last out." He wonders how many of them are still alive...
His throat now feels raw, but he remains patient as he watches people go down the shaft one by one.
__________________ My old characters (I don't game on this board anymore) --- Avatar by Castaras
"Even gods must learn to control their tempers, lest they set a bad example."
The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Steven Erikson
While someone light goes down the rope, Katrin hurriedly puts her sheathed shortsword, her crossbow, and her bolt case into her Handy Haversack to lighten the load on Tiriel. She leaves her dagger, sheathed at the small of her back. When it is her turn to go down the rope, she goes as fast as she can.
Fizahn is clearly irritated by the smoke. He chokes on it a lot and looks at the pit. He eagerly takes Thokk up on his offer. "We need a way out of here. This isn't going to remain a good place to stay. I don't trust those fish though." He says eyeing them.
Cut free, the horses, mules, and pony are shooed over the barricade and towards the doorway. They whinny and scream in panic, trapped between the barricades and the vines. At the last minute, the lizardman dispells the entangle effect and uses his druidic powers to drive the animals out the doorway. They scatter in all directions, kicking at the skeletons.
The skeletons regroup, preparing for a renewed assault on the meeting house. "Time to go!" Aeroz calls out.