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(1) There are about 36 different barrows in this field. The "dragon's" barrow was to the north. This barrow (that Taern happened to fall into) is to the east.
(2) There were 4 adventurers who descended into the crypt below the "dragon's" barrow to confront Sethra. Neither those 4 nor Sethra were ever heard from or seen again. On the other hand, adventuring parties commonly have 4 members, so don't read too much into finding 4 skeletons here.
(3) It would seem unlikely that this barrow would have anything to do with the other. This field is basically an ancient graveyard from centuries ago that was forgotten about after a terrible plague devastated the Vilhon Reach in 75 DR (halving the population). There are many different stories in the various barrows.
"TAERN! You can't just go pulling random stones out of your way! Dragons are crafty creatures, if this is really the dragon's treasure hoard, it's probably guarded by something or a trap! Even if it's just a burial mound, there are probably guardians or traps so that the dead remain undisturbed! I have more experience with these things than you, at least let me make sure it's safe to go through!"
*If Taern hasn't triggered any traps or knocked the stone too askew, Fizahn goes up and carefully examines the stone.*
OOC: Search check to look for traps, if you didn't guess.
Taern, muscles straining, pulls at the iron ring on the southern "door" without success for nearly a minute.
When Fizahn rushes over, she steps aside to let Fizahn examine the stone. After a brief inspection, he concludes that the stone needs to be pushed, not pulled. :P
The doorway does not appear to be trapped.
OOC: [Fizahn's Search check: 12 (5 + 7)]. Graevic and Linda remain in the central chamber, which is illuminated from the hole in the ceiling. Taern and Fizahn are also there, standing next to the doorway to the south. Thokk and Elthan explore the dark chamber to the north.
*Graevic has been standing back, idly watching his new companions, enjoying their eagerness to explore the barrow. He leans down and whispers to the badger, which bounds off, following Thokk and Elthan.*
[As Taern falls]
*Graevic's enjoyment ends as Taern slips through the trap door. He rushes up next to Fizahn, concern evident on his face*
"Can you open it?"
[If Fizahn can't open the trap door and he can get close to the block without standing on the trap door]
*Nodding to Fizahn, Graevic side-steps the trap door and prepares to push the block*
Linda runs at the trap but lets those more experienced with traps handle the opening. Instead she holds on to the rope last of all in an attempt to help to the situation.
I am having major browser or connection issues. Thread subscriptions and prolonged manual searching are glitched, as are browser cookies. I ask my players to PM me links to the games I run so I can reliably find them till the problem is solved.
(must be a virus of some sort)
Thokk and Fizahn switch places, and Fizahn pushes the block. Once again, it slides a half inch <click!>. The trapdoor drops open and Fizahn slides a foot or two downward until the rope snaps taut.
He is suspended 10 feet above a pool of water. Taern thrashes about desperately below him. Fizahn's body and the rope (being held by the rest of the party) prevents the re-closure of the trapdoor.
Elthan jams two daggers into the crack, preventing the trapdoor from closing, then Fizahn is lowered down until he is just above the surface of the water. He reaches for her, but Taern continued to thrash around, panicked, and unwittingly threatens to pull Fizahn down into the water with her...
OOC: 15 rounds have elapsed. In order to successfully grab Taern (because she is panicking), Fizahn will have to grapple her. I'll need two d20 rolls from both Taern and Fizahn.
Taern is simply too strong for Fizahn. Instead of the gnome getting a hold of the wild elf, Taern grabs Fizahn and pulls him under the surface of the water, her strong arms wrapped around him in a crushing embrace...