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Linda looks at the tunnel the sounds are coming from and says to the party at large, wispering: The sound indicates many enemies and with the echoes in this place we cannot say how many. Perhaps we should flee to one of the exits? Evading a fight is a prudent thing to do in such a dangerous place.
Lissa replies to the tall mage in a low voice, eyes still on her crossbow. "Hey, I'm all for a strategic retreat. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like Darius or Thokk are thinking any too clearly right now." She nods toward the laughing dwarf and the strangely grinning archer. "I may be a thief, but I don't leave my mates in the lurch. Even if they're showing a remarkable lack of common sense and self-preservation!" Lissa raises her voice slightly on the last sentence, so she can be clearly heard by said mates.
The Elthans nod to Achkby, they are ready. Like the others, they position themselves behind and to the sides of Thokk and Lumpy as the chittering noises grow louder.
Hajih's hawk slips into the tunnel in order to scout out the situation, but ONE second later, the bird tears back out of the tunnel with a surprised "SQUAWK!?!" The bird loops around the cavern, then settles back down on Hajih's perch, looking distressed.
There isn't any time to comment on the bird's discomfiture. Thokk and Lumpy cry out, "Here they come!" and a few moments later, everyone can see the source of the chittering for him or herself ...
Giant ant-like creatures begin to pour out of the tunnel opening. Each one is roughly gnome-sized, with six limbs and shiny black chitinous bodies. They walk on their rear four legs, with an upright thorax and two free limbs - essentially they look like small insectoid centaurs. They appear to be carrying crude two-handed chopping instruments. There must be at least 20 of them, with more marching out of the tunnel every second ...
*Yelling Out in every language known*
"Ach, what be ye? State yerselves, we mean no harm, but if you attack us be warned!"
*Draws His bow, and readies an action to attack if needed. After shooting (if needed) Thokk will drop the bow and draw his Bastard Sword*
OOC: OK, looks like we are fighting Formains. Guessing they are workers right now, and perhaps some warriors and taskmasters mixed in. I am going to suggest we just form a wall, blockign off the enterance, so a limited number can get to us at once. If the melee people just stand their ground, and engange all who reach them while the artilary take out the larger foes, we should be fine.
Ehh? Formain Workers? I suppose we might not be too far off from a hive of them then. Mybye we could get some aid from them, assuming they dont enslave us first.
"Thokk, I dont think talking to them will work too well, seeing as how they cant speak. Just, umm, try exuding a friendly atmosphere, or, something."
*Elthan then prepares to cast a spell, if the workers assume to attack.*
(OOC: A diplomacy or handle animal check should work to display non-hostility through body language.
Aslo, preparing to cast Blindness.)
Originally Posted by erikun
Aww, a griffin! Cute!
Originally Posted by Collin152
If griffin-hugs are going around, I want in on them!
Avery: What are you, some kind of grammar nazi?
Millie: Yep. I've just invaded Grammar Czechoslovakia and duped Grammar Neville Chamberlain, and now it's off to Grammar Poland and Grammar World Conquest!!
Lumpy quirks his head slightly as the formians emerge, clearly unfamiliar with them from his time in the underdark. With a resigned look, he drops one foot back, bracing against the rush, "And I said let's go, but no.. Everyone else wanted ta fight whatever random freak thing comes out of the tunnel. And now we're waist deep in giant ants. Just swell."
Whatever else Lumpy may be doing, exuding a friendly atmosphere certainly isn't one of them.
He is totally at a loss for a course of action, surrounded by a mob of peaceful but potentially deadly instectoids. He tenses up, obviously nervous, and tries to fend them away from himslef with the butt of his spear.
At Elthan's words, he tries to relax, but finds it hard, surrounded by a herd of entirely alien creatures.
__________________ DON'T PANIC
(Arthur Avatar by the Losar.)
The biggest problem with the alignment system is that it encourages us to choose.
Lissa's eyes grow huge, and she lets out a strangled squeak before biting her fist. *The gnome is visibly trembling. Bugs! *I HATE bugs! *Oh my gods, they're enormous! *Slowly, she removes her abused fist from her mouth and puts the hand back on her crossbow. *Lissa looks over at Elthan with a mixture of fear and incredulousness. *"Calm? *You want me to be calm, in the face of an invasion of giant bugs?!" *Darius and Thokk both receive deadly glares. *"We could've been safely out of here and away from the massive horde of giant bugs if it weren't for you two and your death-wishes. *If we live through this, I am so going to get both of you!" *She snorts at Lumpy's comment. *"Don't count me in with 'everyone else', Lumpy. *I would've been perfectly happy to beat feet out of here."
Despite her obvious fear, Lissa keeps her crossbow aimed at the nearest ant-thing, ready to fire if things turn ugly.
(OOC: *As you can see, Lissa has a bit of a problem with insects. ;) *Ready action to fire if the formians or whatever attack.)
The rising din and the yells of his companions(packmates) jerk him out of his trance.
"Huuunnnhhhh" he gasps as he draws in a deep breath as he rises to a standing position and pants.
[color= Red]"The key........ The pinkskin is the key" [/color]
As his consciousness fully forms and he becomes aware of a disturbance in the cave and the yells of his packmates, he groans in weary.
Semuanya!!.. if these few are typical of their kind , pinksksins should have got themselves annihilated long ago... I barely leave them for a period and they get themselves into trouble again
Stuffing what he could grab of his gatherings into his backpack, he slings it onto his back and starts running. All the while shaking his head and musing: Feh.. I should have brought a brood-mother along... Her skill in minding reckless hatchlings would be invaluable
Thokk and Lumpy try to prevent the formians from entering the cavern, but the opening is too wide and the number of creatures too great. The formians march around the fighters like water flowing around rocks in a stream. Soon, each of you is surrounded by a swirl of shiny black formians.
The insects lightly touch each of you with their antennae, jostling you lightly as they pass. There must be easily dozens if not a hunded formians. As they move, each one clicks softly as the articulated plates of their carapaces rub against each other. Individually, the clicking is quite soft but, multiplied 100 fold, the noises blend into the chittering that announced their approach.
Soon it becomes clear that there is a pattern to their movements. The first set of formians marches toward the fungus forest and begins chopping the giant mushrooms with their cleavers. Their strokes are precise, and in short order they have divided the glowing mushrooms into perfect octahedrons, which are then carried back out of the cavern by other formians that are not carrying any tools. The "choppers" then move on to the next large mushroom ...
For the most part, the formians seem to ignore each of you, as if you were merely furniture. Soon there are two streams of formians - empty handed workers heading toward the forest and workers carrying the softly glowing octahedrons out of the cavern.
At one point, however, Thokk is overwhelmed by more than half a dozen formians that surround him and begin manipulating his armor. He feels a faint chirring vibration as they palpate his plate mail. He is about to start laying into them with his sword when they fall back and move back into line, heading for the mushrooms. Looking down, Thokk sees something amazing - his armor has been completely repaired!
Some of you find yourselves gently nudged off to one side. Lumpy, Aeroz, Lissa and Fizahn find themselves back to back surrounded by a sea of formians. The formians make no threatening movements but simply form a circle around the group of four, as if waiting for something ...
The whites are now showing all around Lissa's eyes, and sweat is starting to bead on her forehead despite the chill of the cave. Her breathing starts to become fast and ragged as the formians press up against her. "Oh, Baravar save me... giant bugs! Giant bugs! Eeeee..." Lissa clutches at her crossbow and Aeroz's leg, clearly fighting to maintain some semblance of control. "Okay, Lissa, breathe. Deep breaths. Close your eyes and ignore the giant bugs..." She squeezes her eyes shut and tries to calm her breathing.
Sheyra relaxes and is clearly relieved. She smiles when she sees the formians fix Thokk's armor. "Well," she says after he finishes speaking, "That makes these things friendlier than almost everything else in the Underdark. It's too bad they can't talk, otherwise I'd ask them for help."
And then they made me their cheif.
"Oh yeah, real smart. Let's stay here to fight the giant ant things, but change our minds when they come! That's a great move! We just wasted time in our search for Sethra! Now that we know they're harmless, can we go?" Having said that, Fizahn puts away his weapons, and starts heading toward the smaller passages.
OOC: Just walking toward the passages. If they don't let him through, but don't seem like they want to kill him, he will tumble through them (+11 or 10). If they seem threatening as he approaches, he will step back and draw his "short sword."
Linda smiles at the others and lowers her hands.
Yes, they appear to be friendly-formians would be creatures of Law and most conflicts indicate Chaos-I guess that is why they fixed Thokk's armor-not to be friendly but to fix an imperfection. Hopefully we can remain here until they flee and then continue our search.
"Sorry, I thought someone would have explained it to you. Well, Sethra is an evil wizard, who we accidentally released in our explorations. We're now tracking him down to right our wrong. Also to settle a few grudges. A portal in the area where we thought he was led us here."
There's something else Fizahn failed to mention: Sethra is a very capable necromancer. Infact, he was capable enough to preserve his spirit intact for centuries and now he's but a spirit that posesses others. That would make him notoriously difficult to track down and slay.
"Well, this might be an incredibly odd coincidence, but we are looking for an artifact belonging to Sethra. When your lizardfolk friend mentioned the name, I thought it sounded familair. We are looking for a group of assasins carrying a weapon called the Kris. The man who employed us referred to it as 'The Kris of Sethra' "
Eyes still shut, Lissa puts her crossbow away and releases her death-grip on Aeroz's leg. Between her deep-breathing exercises and keeping her eyes closed, the rogue seems a bit calmer now. She also looks quite interested in the current conversation.
"Well, I wanted excitement. I must say, you folks haven't disappointed in that department!" She manages a tight smile. "So, what do these assassins and necromancer look like... well, for the moment, in Sethra's case? It's always nice to know your enemies' faces!"
The orc warily watches the fomians that have him and the others cordoned off, hand still tight about his weapon, though he seems to have the presence of mind not to attack.
At first, he seems not to be paying much attention to the conversation, but at the mention of the women, he speaks up, still showing a touch of tension amidst the ant-men "Ya'll prolly have ta fight the drow fer the women, unless they knew some real neat tricks."