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A ball of flame in her hand, Nistra stands by the illusion, helping to guide the other prisoners out. Once the last of them are through, she sets the flame loose at the nearest cultist before disappearing into the tunnel.
After taking a moment to catch her breath, she glides through the crowd, her body emitting a light glow as she approaches their saviors. "Thanks for getting us out of there. I'm Nistra, and I can assist you in getting the others out, but I need my gear that these cultists took from me first. I think they may have taken it down one of these tunnels." A small flame appears, circling around her head a few times. "And that's Bloom. If you let him set stuff on fire every now and then, he'll help out as well."
Attack vs nearest cultist
[roll]1d20+10[/roll] vs Reflex
Last edited by A1Penguino : 07-17-2012 at 10:52 PM.
Malkyr had been stalking this great red hart for what seemed like hours--he could've taken it quicker, but likely messier and, even if he weren't opposed to anything short of a clean kill, with a magnificent stag like this it would be sacrilege to permit it to suffer. And at last he had it: late-evening grazing between two noble firs, setting a target sight for its throat, with Mal fully blinded to it downwind behind a convenient rocky outcropping. Even Owlaggar, his young trained owlbear, had been able to keep silent on the long hunt and kept still but alert behind the blind.
"Dark Maiden speed your journey," Mal whispered, and was just about to pull the trigger when Owlgy perked up and nudged his master with his beak. Irritated, Mal tried to ignore him and reset his sights, but the owlbear wouldn't give up. Mal scowled at him and that's when he spotted the raven perched atop the outcropping staring down at them. Not just a raven--Vilya, one of her beasts, the one that's only ever sent out when there's trouble. Mal sighed at the stag, which had already moved on, locked the trigger, shouldered his crossbow and motioned for Owlgy to follow him back home.
Mal couldn't stop grumbling as he followed the river path into the ancient cave system--he'd wanted to clear those foolish cultists out as soon as they had invaded it, so he wasn't mad about that. But going in there after a band of most likely just as foolish would-be heroes wasn't how he'd envisioned this happening. Owlaggar looked at him forlornly once it became apparent they would have to wade at least part of the way in.
"I know, I know. Trust me, it's long and wet and windy, but this is the best way in," Mal whispered assuringly. The two followed the river along with the cavern walls, and though it was slow going they eventually reached a rocky footpath. Where the river met up with the main tunnels. Hearing the sounds of battle, Mal quickened his pace and, seeing a mismatched group of people huddling together--a few looking primed for battle but many looking distraught--he knew he'd found his goal. With Owlaggar loping behind him, Mal stepped into the light, hands stretched with palms outward.
"Be not alarmed. I am Malkyr, sent by my people who live in the forests above, to guide you to safety," he said in accented Common.
The half-orc is the last to enter the cave with the river, having seen all the prisoners out ahead of him. He nods to Malkyr. Welcome, brother. May the Maiden guide your steps in Darkness, he returns in mostly fluent Elven, taking an educated guess at Malkyr's deity of choice. I shall follow the group as rearguard, to ensure that no foes approach from behind. Lead the way, brother.
As much as elves and drow don't get along, they are all not exactly fans of orcs. So, even a redeemed drow might be surprised by a half-orc that knows Seldarine reverences.
Though he had expected it would be the other way around, it was Malkyr who was surprised. Brother? What is this?! A half-orc who knows the ways of the Seldarine? he wondered, but soon realizing what he was doing Malkyr composed himself and nodded.
"The way is downriver, but the footpath gives way to a watery one not far back from here. Will that be a problem?" he asks the group.
Dredge watches with some amusement as the Drow and Baruk trade odd pleasantries. Although he doesn't know much of the dark elves' religion, he recognises someone who has been displaced when he sees them.
As for the strangely glowing gnome with the imaginary friend? He decides he'll reserve judgement there until he can determine the extent of the girl's madness. Couldn't hurt to help her get her stuff back, though, if she's actually competent.
"Water shouldn't be a problem. This lot have been through much worse. Unless..." he casts a glance and a small smirk at Nistra, "'Bloom' has a problem with it?"
The orbiting ball of fire stops between Nistra and the one that spoke to her. She couldn't quite place just what his race was, but thought it might be rude to ask. The flame moves a couple of inches toward him, bobbing side to side, before zipping back to Nistra and disappearing into her through her shoulder.
"As long as he doesn't have to be out, he can handle it, no problem." She looks over at the guy that just came out of the tunnel. "I don't suppose you saw any kind of equipment just laying around on your way in? A crossbow or two, gloves, glasses, amulet, anything?"
OOC: Those of you who came in before recall that there were a couple of chambers you hadn't explored in the cavern, it's possible that the cultists stored the gear of their prisoners in one of them. You all doubt you can go back into the cultists' caverns the way you just came from, but if you can go out the way Malkyr came in, you should be able to loop around to the front and go back in, as well as free the prisoners that were by the bonfire.
Malkyr nodded to the half-orc, then briefly turned his attention to the gnome. "I did not, no, and I doubt it's seen much use. No doubt these cultists," he spat, "have storerooms in the tunnels they invaded. Come, we will double back."
The party makes their way back to the front entrance to the cave system, though not without a few wet feet, clinging to the narrow ledge that winds around the river and climbing down the side of the waterfall. The prisoners are where you left them, as is the Eilistraeean guarding them. She perks up at your arrival.
"You're back! And with more! Wonderful! Did you get the key? I've had no luck picking these locks..."
Wagneri has no idea what time it is, or even how many days he had been in his cell. "Cell" was too luxurious a word to use; it was a cave, barely two paces wide, high enough for his arms to be secured to the ceiling and leave his feet just scraping the ground, secured by a windowless door. The eladrin prisoner could sense his equipment tossed casually in the corner; his quarterstaff, his gloves, their arcane energy glowed in his mind, even though he couldn't see through the crude blindfold. Wagneri's captors left his heavy plate armor on him, surely just to add weight to his agonizing position.
Unable to teleport himself free or concentrate enough to break the enchantment, and lacking the brute strength to shatter his chains, all Wagneri can do is wait for whatever fate these cultists have in mind for him. He curses himself for an arrogant fool, thinking he could rescue the other captives by himself. A few minutes ago (or was it hours? He had lost all sense of time.) Wagneri heard shouting, chanting, and sounds of arcane explosions deeper in the tunnels. Surely this was the start of whatever evil plans the cultists were hatching. Hanging his head even lower in defeat, Wagneri pictures again the agonizing deaths of the villagers he failed to save.
Priestess, there are possessions belonging to these prisoners still unaccounted for. I know there are other passages within those cave networks; I would like to reenter and recover what was lost. He takes out the key he swiped in the prison room and hands it to her. I hope you did not burn yourself handling the cold iron. That key should open the manacles readily enough.
A long, rattling sigh escapes Dredge's lips. "Let's get a move on, then. No sense in waiting for that gas to spread. Though I really don't see how we've been roped into helping this lot even more than we already have."
Malkyr's brow furrows at the elf's insensitive comment, and now that he was paying attention he was surprised to see how, well, corpse-like the man looked. Still, it sounded like there was work left to do down below, so he set that aside for now and turned his attention to his fellow dark elf.
"Vendui', Alistra,", he greets her warmly with a smile and a short bow, before switching back to Common. "These former captives may need your care. Will you continue your watch while I join their rescuers in further searching the caves?"
My god's children come in many shapes and sizes, Dredge. I have always got time to help brothers and sisters; a pity that your death lost you that connection, intones the paladin. Let us go, then, and recover these possessions before, as you say, that noxious gas spreads to other caverns.
The chamber you enter is as magnificent as you remember it, still hung with the strange lights. The beautiful stone formations still line it, and the altar still stands in the center. No sign of the gas has yet come from the northern passage, and the other three passages, one to the south and two to the east, lie open, the northmost eastern passage still blocked by a spiderweb.
The southern passage lies approximately one hundred and ten feet down the cavern, the easiest way down there seems to be the tiered pools, which offer enough of a ledge to step on. A path leads around the altar to where the eastern passages come out of the wall. The only sound is the slow constant drip of water from the stalactites and stone curtains that hang from the ceiling.
Unsure which tunnel leads to her gear, Nistra decides to examine the southern eastern passage, looking for any details, both physical and magical. She does her best to remain quiet, especially since she has nothing to defend herself with.
Neither Malkyr or Nistra hears anything from down the passages, though Nistra does detect an aura of magic, although it seems to be coming from the northernmost of the eastern passageways, which is covered by a large spiderweb.
After trying to listen for hearing only water dripping from the rock formations, Mal turns back to the rest of the party and shrugs. Still keeping silent, he points at each open passageway in turn, as if to ask which way they'd like to proceed.
If you don't have a sense for where your gear is stored, Nistra, then any choice is as good as another. Lead on, Malkyr; I care not which passage we take, but I would like to return to my primary mission as soon as possible.
Dredge follows silently, uninterested in which passage the group takes but remaining alert to danger.
sorry for the slow replies atm, the Internet in the Greek Islands is worse than I expected :p Dredge isn't super interested in contributing to the decisions here anyway, so until something threatens the group he's basically tagging along keeping his eyes open.
The southern eastern passage proves to be easy to traverse, and you quickly find yourself in a small storage cavern containing a wide variety of mundane goods, some of which Nistra recognizes as her non-magical gear. You suspect whatever treasures the cultists have must be secreted elsewhere.
Malkyr: Your owlbear seems rather interested in the northern part of the room.
The gnome zips past the group and dives into the items, forgetting her attempt moments ago to be stealthy as she scatters them about, picking out her stuff. Once her backpack is ready, she turns back to the group, short sword in hand. "Not my personal favorite, but it'll do until we can find the rest of my gear." Noticing the owlbear's attention, Nistra follows suit to see if she can figure out what the creature has spotted.