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Since he has gotten no answer from the Rashemi wychlaran, Tanner shrugs and chalks things up to traditional conservative behavior. Not being one to wait in a moment of crisis, Tanner acts! He reaches over his shoulder and visualizes the shovel that is in his Haversack...and nothing happens. It is then that a disturbing thought crosses his mind - his gear is buried somewhere below that mess.
Tanner quickly takes inventory of what he does have. When he is through, Tanner feels a coldness in the pit of his stomach - not from the icy chill of the weather, but from losing probably the two most important pieces of equipment he has...had.
First, the periapt. Tanner had spent over a year to accumulate enough wealth and items in trade to barter the old fakir for that enchanted trinket. This was the sole reason why he left Immilmar in the first place; now, all that time and effort was for naught, he thinks to himelf harshly. I should never have been admiring it, he berates himself. If I would simply had been wearing it like it was intended for, I would not be in this predicament, Tanner scolds himself inwardly. At least I'm alive, Tanner scoffs in his inner monologue, trying to look on the positive side of things, but for how long? he wonders to himself.
The reason for this concern is because he must have lost his enchanted haversack as well. It had all of his adventuring gear, food, extra clothing, bedroll, and his bankroll - what was left of it. Without these often taken for granted necessities, it doesn't take a ranger to tel one that his time is limited.
Even losing his weapons and shield pales to this situation. After a few moments, Tanner shrugs and smiles and says aloud, "Tempered steel is the strongest, and so shall I be, thanks be to Gond. To temper the steel, one needs fire."
Incanting a few words, Tanner opens his hand and a flame the size of a torch appears. When this happens, Tanner channels hs energy to make the splll last all day and night. Using it to melt away with more precise and delicate maneuvers, Tanner does what he can to free the others (he doesn't even bother trying to look for his necklace, weapon, shield, and pack.
A voice reaches his ears, and he looks up in surprise.
Was that...Elvish? Smart human...You don't see that every day...
Getting up, he walks towards the man trying to talk to the foul-mouthed Gnome.
You...Speak Elven. And yet you seem to think this young Gnome can't speak Common??
Leaning down to the smaller person, he speaks in a much more respectful voice.
Excuse me, Miss Gnome. My name is Grynde...May I offer my assistance? And please, feel free to swear in Common at these humans. They probably deserve it. In fact, it's probably all their fault that half a mountain fell on us.
The newcomer's rudeness and speech to the gnome did nothing to improve his outlook on the situation. We all just got carried halfway down a mountain by an avalanche, can't really judge a person right after something like that. Give everyone a few hours to calm down before you start worrying.
"I've spent enough time working for elves that speaking their tongue has become a necessity. As for the rest, a surprising number of beings don't speak common. Names Norgold by the way."
After a moment of internal struggle Norgold convinced himself that politeness really was the best course and extended his hand.
Some of the survivors seem more active than others. Perhaps it is the cold or the shock of being buried alive that leaves some of the survivors slow and torpid.
Those who are able fan out searching for more survivors, digging with their bare hands or makeshift shovels. Some poke the snow with poles salvaged from the debris.
The Rashemi woman appears to be dazed at first, ignoring the friendly foreigner's words, but after murmuring to herself, she wanders the snowfield with seeming purpose. Nearing Tiriel and Katrin, she indicates a spot in the snow where she would like to dig. When the three women clear the snow (Tiriel displaying unnatural strength and stamina), they eventually uncover a panicked man buried so deeply that he almost certainly would have died had the Rashemi not sensed that he was there.
The survivors break up into several small groups. In one such group, names and handshakes are exchanged:
Lissa - female gnome, blond, no longer cursing Tanner - male human, armored and fur-clad, flames burn in his hand Grynde - male half-elf, irritable and apparently bigoted Desmona - brown haired, brown eyed woman in breeches and tunic, wearing a breastplate decorated with a feather motif Norgold - muscular human male, a spiked chain wrapped around his torso
Other survivors wander this way and that. The snowslide seems to have obliterated most easily recognizable landmarks. The Running Rocks still tower over you to the east. Presumably the Huhrong's Road must lie to the north, and from there easy passage to Immilmar.
Lissa feels the lump on the back of her head gingerly, wincing at the gentle touch. Her glove comes away bloody. She looks up at her rescuer apologetically. "Thank you... sorry for the cursing, but I already had one demon of a headache before I cast that spell. Something hit me in the head during the avalanche. I'm Lissa, by the way." The gnome groans, reaching under her cloak. Yes! It's still here! She comes up with a crudely hammered and engraved silver medallion showing a cloak and dagger.
"I'm sure I've done stupider things than cast sound burst right after a blow to the head, but I can't think when right now. 'Scuse me for a moment, going to do something about the headache." Lissa puts one hand on the medallion, and the other (very lightly) on the goose-egg rapidly rising on her skull. She closes her eyes, recites a short phrase in Celestial, and a faint white light emanates from her hand. The lump vanishes, and Lissa sighs with relief. "Oh gods, that's so much better! Okay, triage time, who's hurt?"
Once it's clear that everyone's alive and out of the snow, Lissa... well, Lissa does what her friends now more or less expect. She launches herself at the nearest friend- Katrin, in this case- clings to her knees, and proceeds to weep and babble in relief. "OhgodsohgodsIthoughtwewerealldeadI'msogladyou'rea live!" Fortunately, the weep 'n babble session is shorter than usual this time. Maybe it's the necessity of making sure nobody's hurt, or maybe it's just the sheer number of life-threatening dramas lately.
"All right, then," Desmona sighs, looking around at the surrounding mountains. "It looks like we need to head north in order to make it back to the Huhrong's Road."
She looks over at the ragtag group that's gathered with her, especially the gnome girl - who bolted and latched herself onto a woman with green eyes and short black hair.
"So, I take it you know her?" She asks the other woman, a hand resting on her hip, above the spiked chain. "I'm Desmona. We were all just discussing how to get out of here. Huhrong's Road should be to the north." She points. "I figure we gather everyone who survived the avalanche, scavenge as much rations and supplies we can find from the wreckage, and then hike north."
She brushes a few strand of loose brown hair from her eyes. "What really worries me most is the constant exposure to the cold. We could use any spellcasters who can cast that enduring spell...thing."
Damian glances over his belongings, and scrounges a few things lying loose in the snow that must've come from his saddlebags. Geh. Probably half of my belongings are probably twenty feet under the snow. And the circlet. Great. I've got no chance to get anywhere on my own now.
Walking over to Lissa, he watches as she heals herself, with slight interest. "Actually, I'm a bit banged up from the avalanche, and could a slight bit of healing. If you don't mind, though, I can do it myself,
with a bit of assistance from you. If that's all right, that is. Well - and if you have any healing prepared."
Extending his hand in greeting, he introduces himself, to Lissa as well as the others. "I'm Damian. It's fortunate that you were traveling nearby. After this... disaster... we could use the company."
Realizing he was a bit aggressive, he shakes his head lightly. "Sorry - that was a bit aggressive. It's just that we seem to be in a bad spot, and I prefer to let people know what I can do so they're not surprised later. A few people have reacted a bit... harshly in the past."
Once everyone that can be found is accounted for, Tanner gathers with the other survivors. He closes the hand that holds the flame so that it does not burn anyone else - it looks as though he is familiar with this practice.
After Desmona introduces herself, Tanner says, "I am called Tanner Gondsman. It is a pleasure to meet you all, thank Gond we survived that ordeal. Creating a fire will not be a problem," he says with a wry smile. "However, I already have used Gond's gift to endure the elements. If any here needs my cloak or other warm clothes, you are welcome to them in the meantime. Besides being able to endure the elements, I think it would be wise to enchant our travels across the snow as I have. I shall be able to enchant each of us survivors here with one of the spells. Unless others of us can do so, I think our first priority is the ability to endure the elements, then we can focus on traversing the snow with no difficulty. Although I am no expert, I can heal those that are wounded and can treat any complications that may arise until then." He looks at the feather-plated female, "I believe Desmona's plan is a sound one; if Desmona does't mind leading, I will follow."
"Unfortunately, I lost much of my equipment, including my shield and weapons," Tanner says as he rummages through the equipment salvaged thus far with his 'good' hand. "This broken pole will do nicely as a club, I suppose," the human says to himself more than anyone else. "The good news is that I haven't lost my wits, nor my faith. I am certain we will get through this if we work..." he then locks his gaze with Grynde when he says his last word, "...together."
After being dug out by the three women, the man lies on the surface of the snow, panting despite the cold. He is about six-and-a-half feet tall, although covered in snow and heavy furs he looks even bigger. He has black hair and the rough, tanned face of a plains barbarian.
Rescued by women... he thinks, ashamed.
After rummaging in the hole to retreive a large, well-made, two-handed axe, he wanders over to join the largest group. "Is, uh, is this everyone? He looked around. "I suppose we should leave while we can, but if there's anyone still in there...
"I'm Retay, by the way." He doesn't seem especially proud of the fact.
He shifts his weight a little awkwardly from foot to foot, swaying slightly as Tanner is speaking.
Gah. Maybe I should be nice to these humans...For my own safety. Never a good idea to get on the bad side of a large group...
With some difficulty, he attempts an apology.
I'm...er...Sorry. I...Will try to be...nicer...To you all...
Annoyed at having to do that, he looks away, again to the snow, embarassed, and this time, a little ashamed. Sitting down, he draws one of the shortswords across his back and begins hacking and stabbing the cold ground.
Norgold smiles appreciatively as he notices Desmona's choice of armaments. She sounds intelligent, and she was willing to step up. That'll be enough for now. Nodding slowly as Tanner speaks, he lets a moment of silence pass waiting to see if the half-elf has anything more to add before voicing his thoughts.
My name's Norgold. I agree with Tanner, if Desmona can lead us out of here I will gladly follow. Lets get moving though, before we lose any more daylight. Oh, and there's a heavy blanket still in my pack if anyone is in need of extra warmth.
Follwing his own advice he begins searching the area for anything that could be useful, starting from the wreck of the wagon he had initially been trapped in.
Olfacht pulls himself up and dusts off the snow on his body as he says quietly:
I'm Olfacht of... You know, I must admit, I'm not sure which township I'm claiming lineage from today... So... no chance that we'll be digging up the rest of the caravan, huh? I have some materials that I would like to recover. It's hard extracting the essence scent of steel, you know.
His clothes now smell damp and slightly moldy. This is not a pleasant smell. It reminds him of the time he slept under a bridge and when the water level rised during the night. What an uncomfortable night that was.
Candle Bearer of the Red Cloak fan club
[ooc] sorry for lack of updates, weekends are busy for me [/ooc]
Moving awkwardly over the snow in a trance, the red-haired woman first pointed out the living people buried deep in the snow, and then began identifying those who had not survived the avalanche. A soft whispered prayer in her native tongue went up when each was exhumed from their frosty tomb.
"The spirit is no longer with the body, but the spirit endures and will be reborn."
At last she sees no more bodies buried and turns her attentions to those most grievously wounded.
Hoping to be better understood, she remarks in accented common,
"Please. Everyone come close. I will remove your weariness and chase the cold from your bones."
Waiting for everyone to gather, assisting those who might need help, she once again chants in a melodic voice and makes arcane gestures in the air:
Spellcraft DC 18
The woman casts a Refreshment Spell.
Everyone within 20' of the woman feels instantly refreshed.
All creatures within a 20’ radius Burst of the caster are healed of all non-lethal damage, including damage cause by starvation, thirst,
environmental conditions, etc.
Finding the foreigner who addressed her earlier, she bows politely before him,
"I apologize for my rudeness. My concern for the wounded was great, I did not mean to cause any offense. My name is Tryntha and I am healer of the Rashemi."
Turning to Khazrael, the relatively tall, lithe dark-clad human chuckles slightly. "Heading to Immilmar from Taporan. That's what we started out doing, that is. Recently all it seems we were doing is running from avalanches. Seems our luck finally ran out."
His shoulders sag as he looks around at the rest of the group with a touch of despair. This was not going well.
Unlatching herself from Katrin's legs, Lissa looks up at Damian, a bit puzzled. "Healing spells actually prepared? Well, no. I generally don't bother with that. I prepare other things that might be useful and convert them to healing spells as needed." She tilts her head at him curiously. "Why? I don't mind healing you, or anyone else who's hurt."
Upon hearing Tryntha, Lissa willingly walks over toward the Rashemi woman. She isn't too cold, thanks to her endure elements spell, but she's curious. Curiosity is rewarded with a burst of warmth and energy. Lissa blinks, smiling. "Wow, that's some spell!"
Lissa introduces herself all around, in case anyone didn't hear earlier. "Nice to meet you, everyone." She turns to Tryntha with a warm smile. "And I'm especially glad to see you! I'm not a terribly powerful priestess, magically speaking, and it'll be nice to have somebody who actually specializes in healing. My god likes his servants to... hmm... have a variety of skills." Lissa's studded leather armor, light crossbow and rapier provide a few clues as to what those 'skills' might be. She looks over to Tanner, shrugging helplessly. "I'd be happy to lend you my rapier if we were more of a size, but I think the hilt is a bit small for those big hands of yours." Indeed, Lissa's rapier is a fine and well-balanced weapon- but it's a weapon sized for a gnome.
The brief look of despair changes to a flash of despondency, as he reaches up and awkwardly scratches the back of his neck. "No, of course, I wasn't suggesting any problem. I just..." He lets off a small huff of frustration as he glances over at the scattered remnants of the caravan.
"I just tend to prefer to do things myself. Sorry. I'm usually pretty self-sufficient, so this whole situation - you know, the 'imminent death' part - is putting me a little out of sorts. Plus..."
He reaches down and picks up a dark leather backpack, slinging it over his shoulder with an audible grunt. His eyes dart around to the myriad spellcasters present with a bit of trepidation, and looks back at Lissa, his voice slightly hushed. "Some of those who can manipulate the Weave have been a little... tense around me, so I try not to inconvenience them much. I don't really know how to explain it, as I don't really know how I do it - I can borrow the power you have prepared and cast it myself. Well - okay, borrow isn't the right word. Take is."
He chuckles slightly, looking down at the gnome with a slightly bemused look. "To be honest, with this many wielders of magic around, I'd normally be content to go my own way, or keep things hidden entirely. But I don't think I have that choice this time. I just hope that what I am doesn't bother anyone. It has been useful, at times. Plus - well - it's just who I am."
After Lissa's response (if any), he turns to the others and straightens himself slightly, his demeanor losing much of the trepidation and worry it just had. "Does anyone know how far we have left until Immilmar?"
Listening to Grynde's apology, Tanner smiles and says to him, "No need to apologize, friend, but the sentiment is noted. I have learned that one will be treated as one treats others. It is good to have you a part of this, for I believe that your skills will be needed if we are to survive this test."
When Tryntha communes with the land, Tanner stops what he is doing and watches closely. He has seen the Wychlaran before, but never has he viewed the rites and rituals they cast. When she is complete, he says, "My thanks." Seeing to the live and then to the dead, Tanner helps collect the gear that is remaining. He first works near Damian so he may speak with him, "I have a couple of healing spells called lesser vigor prepared. It boosts your natural healing ability over a short amount of time. I could cast them upon you, if you need them, but alas, I am a bit hesitant to give up such things to those whom I have not journeyed with for some time. I have learned through business that it is good to be trusting, but it is wise to be sure not to be completely trusting with new acquaintances. I hope you understand."
As conversation continues and draws to the personal business each had will travel to Immilmar, Tanner responds, "I had made a purchase in Heliogabalus in Damara. However, it appears that Silvanus was not happy with my choice and wanted it back, for all of my wares are buried under this snow. I now reside in Immilmar; I am - was - a fur trader and leatherworker. It appears as though I will need to start afresh."
When Lissa offers her sword, Tanner replies to her, "Thank you for the offer, but this club will do..." Tanner opens his hand again, revealing the flame still there, "...and so will this." Tanner closes it again, snuffing out the flame for the moment. "Besides, I wouldn't know the first thing about how to use such a fine blade. I prefer to be blunt when it comes to any sort of conflict," Tanner says with a smile at his double entendre.
As Tryntha approaches he includes her in the conversation with Lissa."It appears that our skills will be needed to help protect all here. As for this other group, my connection with Gond is strong, but not strong enough to reach everyone. How many can you help?"
Then when she speaks to him in her native language, he returns in kind, still with an outlander's accent, "A pleasure to meet you, Tryntha. No offense taken, for I understand. I have heard tales of the sisters but now I know them to be true. I think our survival will depend on your connection with the land. Of the Wychlaran I have had business dealings with before, they were always accompanied by another - usually a large warrior like Retay. Were you accompanied by one such as he?"
Lamenting the feeling of loss whenever the channeling of mystic energies subsides, Tryntha is elated to see the color and liveliness return to those effected by her spell. As she sees others discussing equipment and armaments, she realises she should check her own posessions.
As her hand moves to her hair, she caresses a thin silver chain braided into her hair and moves her fingers delicately along it until she touches the oval topaz that hangs slightly above her hairline. With a content sigh, she pulled unbuckled the travel pack that had been strapped over her shoulders and around her waist and began shuffling through it for her supplies. Opening the case tied to the side of the pack, she checked the two shortspears carried within for damage.
Her eyes go wide as Tanner mentions the word "Wychlaran". When he is finished, she is quick to correct him in hushed tones,
"Please, I am not worthy of being called that. I have not yet finished my trials of the sisterhood. As such, I have no escort like you describe. That is how I found myself among those with the caravan. I will do everything I can to help all of these people find their way."
Bowing slightly to Tanner, she moves to talk to Desmona.
"I heard you talk of Huhrong's Road and moving north. I am familiar with these lands and should be able to help guide you to the nearest town. I also have the ability to conjure sustenance, though I dont know if I could feed all who are here. We should be able to supplement our stores with things from the land, and we should have no shortage of water with the snow. Please, let me know if there is anything I can to assist you."
Moving through the gathered people she will see who is the most injured and offer healing spells. If she can identify any one who appears to be handling the cold worse than others she will administer her Endure Elements spell.
Survival - (1d20+7) To help scavenge and traverse the difficult terrain.
[ooc] If Tryntha is aware of the distance to Immilmar, she will offer this information also [/ooc]
Tiriel and Katrin listen with interest as the Rashemi woman speaks. Although they don't understand her dialect, they are able to figure out that she is familiar with the wychlaren. Unlike the masked hathran in Telflamm who was escorted by a retinue of Rashemi berserkers, this Rashemi spellcaster is apprently traveling alone. Katrin checks her pack and verifies that the porcelain mask she carries is still intact ...
Adalmar introduces himself to the other avalanche survivors and helps Tryntha estimate that the Huhrong's road must be about two days away on foot.
A distant rumbling from the mountain peaks reminds everyone that there may not be enough time to salvage much from the caravan. The dozens of other people and animals will have to lay buried in the snow. There just isn't enough time or manpower to dig them out by yourselves.
The score or so survivors slowly begin to trudge northward, carrying what they can on their backs on in their hands. The various spells help to heal any bruises or minor fractures incurred by the avalanche.
It is hard to remember everyone's names at first, of course, but everyone is at least united in a shared goal for now - survival.
The group spreads out into a thin line, each of you walking in the footsteps of the survivor ahead. You march through the day, eventually leaving the mountains behind you. As the sun begins to dip towards the horizon, however, you start to wonder how you are going to survive a night out in the open ...
She was certainly pleased with how she managed to bring everyone together. But that wasn't what leadership was really about and she understood that. She needed to make sure that everyone was willing to use their full potential to ensure the survival of everyone still alive.
"All right, after everyone's gotten whatever they can find, we move out. I want us all to follow Miss...Tryntha, right? Miss Tryntha and Mr...you," she points at Retay. "You look like a competent wildsman. Both of you need to lead the way so we get out of here and to a civilized place, okay? Then and only then should we go our seperate ways. We stay together, we survive."
"Any clerics or Weave-users with healing and protective spells should keep them ready. Don't wait for someone to drop from exposure, pump them chock full of magical goodness at the first signs. I want any meleeists to protect those with little protection, especially spellcasters. I'll be with you on that position, two lines of warriors on either side of the spellcasting column."
"We'll move out in ten minutes, so get what you can salvage and get into Position."
With all that said, she took on the task of scaveging for useful bits of the caravan.
Search check: (1d20+2)
Ooc: How I imagined the marching party will look:
Des Dam (fighters and low spellcasters)
Ret Tri (Lissa, Ackhby, other low HP low armor spellcasters)
Nor Tan (clerics and other better battlers)
I am the Catboy. I demand pettings!
Wow, I'm busy... I apologize for not posting more.
Achkby, Halfling Sorcerer
Achkby makes his way across the snow to his friends, and stands shivering among them. He says little, apparently paralyzed by the combined cold and shock of waking up beneath many feet of snow. After the Rashemi's spell, however, he seems far more happy.
"I'm Achkby," he says finally, by way of introduction, "And from far south of here, if you hadn't noticed," he adds, referring to the thick cloth wrapped about his small flame.
"We're trying to make our way to Rasheman, but we got lost on the way. We lost many comrades too, so it's good to meet some friendly souls. Your unluck may have been our salvation, and we'd be grateful for your help getting there," he says a bit stiffly. He's clearly on his best manners, though why such formality so suddenly isn't as readily apparent.
__________________ DON'T PANIC
(Arthur Avatar by the Losar.)
The biggest problem with the alignment system is that it encourages us to choose.
Throughout the trip, Khazrael retains a gregarious attitude despite the cold, and does his best to get to know his new companions as they march along.
"So have any of you heard anything about the armies pressing in from the west? Er, I think it's the west--I don't have the best head for directions. They were tearing around the Great Dale pretty much unchecked. I don't know if they plan on coming this far east, but it was something to see. I can't tell you how many times they almost caught me."
Lissa smiles wryly, adjusting one of the straps on her pack. Thank you, Baravar, for not letting me lose my haversack! Or my crossbow. "Yeah, I used to be a loner as well." A pained, distant look comes over her face for a moment. "It's... safer, in many ways." You can't betray yourself, after all. She shrugs. "The threat we face is too big for any one person to face alone, though. And no, I haven't got a problem with your ability, just so long as you ask before using it on me. Talk to the mages about it, but I don't think Achkby or Khazrael will have a problem as long as you ask first." The gnome gives Damian a sly grin. "If you try it on Khazrael without asking, you just might get fried for your pains. He does like his lightning bolts."
As the sun starts going down with no shelter in sight, Lissa begins to look worried. My endure elements should last until morning, but what about everyone else? I only prepared the one for myself, the rest are spells for battle! A memory surfaces, of snowball fights when she was a child. Gnomish snowball fights never just have snowballs; part of the fun is creating elaborate snow fortresses and improvising snowball-throwing devices. Lissa picks up a handful of snow and squeezes it experimentally, trying to see if it will pack. "We used to make snow fortresses for snowball fights when I was a youngster... I wonder if there's a way to make a sort of house or hut out of packed snow?"
Damian smirked at Lissa's response. "Thanks for the advice. Seems your little band is a bit more cohesive than ours. Not that I ever expected to be in a struggle for my life with this group."
As the group moved out, Damian quickly settled in near the front, where he seemed perfectly comfortable. His eyes kept scanning the distance, however, looking for shadows, trees, cover of any general sort. After a time, however, the chill of dusk began to set in, and the load he carried slowly wore him down. He was definitely going to need to find a better way to carry things. But for now, night was a more pressing concern. Which was too bad - physical threats he could respond to. It's much harder to fight nature itself.
"Well, we're going to need shelter and heat of some sort, very quickly. Could we really make up a housing for 16 in that short time?"
Grumbling to himself, he thinks of the meager possessions he has, and hopes fervently someone else has a good idea.
This development does not please him. Not the slightest. He's just lost his packmule, 90% of his possessions, and many of these people around him could really use a good rosebud bath. Still, in the interest of survival, he'll need these people. After all, he doesn't know the way around.
He steps up to one of the closest companions that seems a little cold and says, "here, allow me" as a bit of magical energy ebbs from his fingers and fills the person with heat. He does this until all of his magical energy is spent.
OOC: Olfacht will use all of his first level slots to cast "endure elements" upon the less hardy party members. (totaling around 6 castings) If that doesn't seem enough, he'll burn up a couple second level slots to make ends meet.
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