The Dark Ages - Southern Seas - Act 14 - Athenum
32nd Day of Fall, 56AD
The day arrives to meet the elves coming with you to the Athenum. The dawn is clear and crisp, a bit of a chill in the morning air that will soon burn off in the sun. When you go to the Golden Coach, the inn keeper (who's name is Philius Fourwater) tells you that you're to meet the elves outside the northern gates.
When you arrive, after retrieving your hoses and cart from the stables and holding area, there are two groups of elves, and even to someone completely unfamiliar with elves, it's easy to see that the two groups don't like each other. There are a dozen elves in each group. One has a banner that displays a ship in gold, and the other's banner is of waves with emphasized crest in white.
Between them are 8 elves with what appears to be various types of gear and armor. All are horseback.
An elf detaches themselves from that second group and approaches GRAIAN and speaks in Elven. He appears to be very friendly with GRAIAN.
(translated) "Hello, GRAIAN, it is good to see you. These past two days have been a trial, but we have the Seekers ready to go with you. They have been told that you are in charge... but it is quite likely that the Seadreamers will give you problems. Yes, the group is divided, curse Vinalin! He has some of his followers in the group. Sinyr is the leader of those four and I do not trust her. I have some of my trusted crew as well, Angon is someone I know very well and you can trust her."
He switches to the human tongue and addresses the rest of you. "Hello. If you are friends of GRAIAN, then you are friends of mine. I am Shaiman, Captain's Husband and the speaker for the Foamfollower. I am glad that you will be with GRAIAN as he goes back to the library to seek out ... the information we need."
An elf, with a quite obvious sneer and attitude comes from the other group. He gives the rest of you a very contemptuous look and then stares at GRAIAN with hostility and speaks in Elven.
"Well, GRAIAN, here we are, ready to send you on a useless quest. Do be quick about failure, so that we can get back to the real issue at hand." he says in a sneering voice. "My crew will be watching very carefully to make sure that you do not try any trickery. You have ten days! And if you're going to be in the company of pigs, do make sure to clean up before you return... their stench is disgusting!"
He walks away from the group towards one of the mounted elves and has a quick word with an elf maiden, then walks back to the group with the ship banner.
"May the compass be true and may the seas be kind to you, GRAIAN." Shaiman says in a formal voice, with both hands upraised, palms facing you. "May your search be true and bring us ever closer to Home."
With that, Shaiman bows at the waist to the rest of you and rejoins his groups. Both groups walk back into Skalfier, obviously staying far apart from each other.
The elves on horseback look at you. Four come right up and introduce themselves to GRAIAN and then to you - they call themselves "Foamfollower crew." (Silinar [female], Yannon [male], Rynil [m[, and Angon [f]) They all seem very friendly. The other four, from the "Seadreamer crew", are far less friendly, with one giving you all outright hostile looks and barely speaking to you. They introduce themselves as (Hecil [f, and the one that has the most disgust in her voice and face], Yacano [m], Rulian [m], Sinyr [f, the elf maiden that the sneering elf spoke to])
The trip towards Appleton and the Athenum is an interesting day. The four Foamfollower elves are happy to chat with all of you. Claudia and Bindi are both entranced by being near elves, creatures of stories until now. They hang on every word.
The Seadreamers are content to stay to themselves, close enough to keep an eye on everything, but distant enough to discourage conversation.
As the sun gets lower in the sky, you near the point where you could go to Appleton or continue to the Athenum. The Seadreamers make it clear that they do not wish to spend time in a "human slum" but want to get to the Athenum and camp there. Claudia needs to take the cart and supplies back to the village. She is very apologetic and wants to know if she should come to the Athenum after returning to the village.
TAKASHI: "I think it would be best if you were to stay home for this trip, Claudia. (Glancing at the hostile elves) I do not like the look of some of these elder-lived beings, and worry for your safety with them behind as we will need to head underground again. We will return to Appleton soon, and I will tell you what transpires."
TOBIAS is happy to be in the company of elves at first, but their demeanor sours his attitude towards them as they travel along. As dusk approaches, he goes to his elven friend and says in a low voice, "Master GRAIAN, they're nothing like you! I was going to invite them all to be special guests of the village, I know the people there would love to see them what they've never seen before, but the elves make a face every time Appleton gets talked about! Why are they so grumpy?"
GRAIAN quieetly answers Tobias' question "We have been searching for our home for a long time and some are losing patience, so they think we should take over the lands of Man, they see this search as a waste of time. There is also a belief that Elves are above Men and your kind is the lowest of low, being associated and spending time with you makes them feel unclean, as you can tell the Seadreamers are of this mindset, unfortunately all races, even civilized ones, have those who are intolerant of others. Fortunately the Foamfollowers are not like this, I would say they hold the oppposite views."
Claudia nods unhappily and gives Bindi a huge hug before leaving. She also gives Tobias a hug and a small kiss on the cheek. She bows to TAKASHI, much like he's taught her and waves to the rest of the party (and to the Foamfollower elves as well. Silnar, one of the elf maidens (although she looks pretty wiry to be a 'maiden') gives Claudia a small carved fish as a gift. Claudia takes the cart back to Appleton.
TOBIAS watches sadly as Claudia leads the cart away. Unconciously, he reaches up to lightly touch the spot on his cheek where she kissed him.
TAKASHI eyes TOBIAS intently. Then, a small smile breaks his demeanor and he slowly rides after the others.
The remainder of the trip to the Athenum is in almost near silence. As you get closer, the elves let out a shout as they see Apsuna in the sky, and several reach for their bows in alarm.
TAKASHI: "Calm, brothers. That is Apsuna, and she watched over this part of the land with her flock. If you do nothing to provoke her, you have nothing to fear. She knows us, and has provided aid in the past. We count her as a friend - a rare and precious thing here in the wilderlands."
CALLIN: will ride next to Bindi. "Thank you for agreeing to acompany us on this quest. I am sure you must be nervous, but have faith in the Light. If you choose to follow it, to let it guide you, you will do fine. Remember that Darkness thrives in the shaddows of all, and that sometimes it might be hard to see." Callin looks over in the direction of the Seadreamers. "Keep your wits about you Bindi and stay close." Callin ponders for a bit then adds. "I would like you to lead the prayer tonight when we make camp. Think about how you feel about the Light, why it is important. I will assist in the worship as your second."
Bindi smiles and proudly beams at his instructions... and her ill-prepared pack on the horse promptly falls off and spills her belongings all over the ground. She stops, almost falls getting off the horse and quickly gathers her items, making a bigger mess of tying the pack back to the horse's saddle. (She is riding with you, CALLIN, unless I missed you buying her a horse and gear.)
"I will try to shine the Light to all, Priest Callin!" she says eagerly.
CALLIN will dismount and help Bindi pick up her belongings. He will also show her how to properly pack her equipment to handle life on the road. "The first step of adventure is always travel Bindi. For that we must be prepared and pack correctly so we will have our belongings when needed most."
Bindi listens intently and nods vigorously. "I will do better, Priest Callin, I promise!" she says. She looks at your warhammer. "Do I need a better weapon, Priest? I forgot to ask you that before we left, didn't I? I always keep forgetting things! I have a club..." she says in a hopeful voice.
The elf who seems to be leading the Foamfollowers, Angon, holds her hand out to the other Foamfollowers and they lower their bows a bit, eyes wide.
However, Sinyr, who appears to be leading the Seadreamers does not follow suit.
Hecil spits out in common "And the human expects us to believe that they are talking to animals now? Although one animal talking to another.... watch and be wary, brothers and sisters! That's a monster in flight! I do not believe the words of the human!" She glares at TAKASHI and keeps her bow raised.
TAKASHI looks towards GRAIAN to see if he will handle the situation.
ATACIUS: "Hey elfs, if your purpose in this mission is to make sure it fails, I guess we should say nothing and let Apsuna and her flock have you lot for lunch. We'll just sit and watch.", he says to the Seadreamers. "Oh, and be so kind to leave the horses out of the slaughter please."
TOBIAS, who had been frowning angrily at Hecil, hears ATACIUS' words and can't help laughing at the Seadreamers' reaction.
CALLIN dismounted upon seeing the elfs take aim will draw his warhammer and shield and step toward the elfs. "Seadreamers! You are traveling under our lead, and you shall respect our friends should you wish to continue this trek. Apsuna is our friend and a threat against her is a threat against us. Stand down." CALLIN will bellow at the obnoxious elves.
GRAIAN rides back towards the Seadreamers and places himself in front of Sinyr, between her and Apsuna. Speaking in Elven, "Do you really want to start off this way, I know none of you believe any of this and would like nothing more than to return and start a war with Mankind? However, the Conclave has ruled we shall investigate this place and put you under my leadership, We are going to be facing enough danger, without you creating more. Tell your crew to put down their bows and to listen to Callin."
Hecil immediately shifts his aim at CALLIN's chest and two of the other Seadreamers follow suit.
"I do not follow the commands of a pink goblyn." she hisses between her teeth and the moments seems to hang on the edge of a blade.
"Hold." Sinyr says in a commanding voice and the three reluctantly lower their bows. She looks to GRAIAN and speaks in Elven.
"GRAIAN, you are correct, the Conclave put YOU in charge. We will not attack the creature... unless it is in self defense. But be warned! Keep your Humans to your side, and keep them quiet, or there will be trouble. We do not listen to their bellows, especially from the ones who perpetuate the madness of their so-called gods."
She speaks to the other Seadreamer elves in Elven. "We will wait to see if this creature is peaceful as the Seeker has said. Hold but be watchful."
The three Seadreamers relax the draw on their bows, but remain at the ready. Hecil glares at Callin.
GRAIAN, speaking in Common "Thank you Sinyr, it is important that we work together. As for my companions, you would do well not to ignore them, they are more than useful allies to have where we are heading." He then returns to join the others, speaking quietly, "I think we are going to have a tough time with the Seadreamers, but they do acknowledge the Conclave put me in charge. Tempting though it may be try not to antagonize them!"
CALLIN: Once they lower their bows, CALLIN simply turns towards GRAIAN as his approaches, ignoing Hecil and his companians after they have done what GRAIAN told them too. "I am sorry GRAIAN. I will do my best to hold my tongue, but I will not let their dark ways threaten our friends."
Then CALLIN returns to Bindi. "Sorry about that Bindi, but we must stand true to the Light and defend our friends from Darkness. As for your weapon, a club is fine for now. For now I want you to focus on praying for the powers of healing ( curelight wounds). Your job will be to stay with me, carry your lantern and help keep our friends standing against the darkness. TAKASHI, ATACIUS and Myself do quite well holding the line while GRAIAN and TOBAIS have their own tricks up their sleves. Keep your wits about you, keep shining your light and keep your heart pure. But should you need to draw your club, it will serve you well. Tonight after your sermon, I would be happy to practice with you if you like."
Sinyr sniffs and gives a curt nod in response. The Seadreamer elves unnock their bows and follow the rest, cautiously.
Apsuna circles in a lazy manner, slowly spiraling down as you approach the ruins of the Athenum. She alights on a ruin wall, a bit of a distance away and carefully looks at all of you with one eye, then turns the other. She ruffles her feathers and then speaks.
"Welcome back, friends of the village of apples. I am glad to see you, but I see you have more of the Lost Ones with you." she croaks.
The Elf Seekers all exclaim at the giant black bird's speech. Bindi's eyes grow even wider and she tightens her grip on CALLIN's abdomen so much that it almost hurts. "Light preserve us... " she whispers in amazement.
"It was not long ago that elves came to these very ruins and killed many of my children. I am glad to see that you have kept these elves from doing the same. We drove them away, but at a cost!" Apsuna continues. "Why have you come with these elves, my friends? Your flock grows stranger and stranger."
"The lost Seekers!" Sinry gasps. "Did you kill them, monster?"
Apsuna turns an eye to her. "No, it was they who slaughtered our kind. We did enough to drive them away, but their metal skins protected them, as did their mastery of the arts of Etherius. They left to the north with few of the leaves that your kind holds so precious. We never saw them again."
Sinry narrows her eyes and turns to GRAIAN. "The Conclave had sent Seekers to find a rumored library, although we were not sure where it was to be found. The Seekers never returned. Do you believe this creature? Why does it parley with you, instead of attacking, if it attacked our kind once?"
CALLIN: "Bindi it is ok, Apsuna is our friend. She is one that shines Light upon the world. That is what is important, it does not matter if she looks like us or not. Have Faith in the Light, and in those that show it's virtue." Then after hearing the Elf (assuming he continued in common), CALLIN bites his tongue waiting for GRAIAN to defend Apsuna.
ATACIUS leans towards TAKASHI and whispers: "Can I tell the elfs we brought them as an offering to appease Apsuna, so she grants us access to the library?" a pleading look in his eyes.
TAKASHI: "Well, we did forget to bring them some livestock..."
Bindi nods and relaxes her grip a tiny bit. Her eyes are very wide as she watches the giant bird speak to the elves and party.
GRAIAN turns to Sinry, "My friend this is what happens when you use diplomacy instead or war as your first choice, friendships can be formed and we all become stronger. Apsuna did not attack us just because we are different, despite her previous experiences and now we are able to help each other."
"Greetings Apsuna, yes our party grows, but we all come in peace." Graian looks at Sinry and her crew, "There is a great gathering of my kind and they have agreed to help us search for more information about our history. The last time we were here we did find some of our important leaves, we are sure there are more to find."
Apsuna looks at GRAIAN, opens her beak a couple of times and ruffles her feathers. It's clear that she is disturbed or upset. Finally, she speaks.
"I know you, elf, and your friends, and your kindess to Sir Flinigan, my friend who has gone on to the skies above. It is on that basis that I will leave you and your kind in peace. However, I do not trust the elves in numbers and for that, I will take my children and we will go elsewhere for a time. May your search be successful to find the leaves that are so important to you. May the elves learn to have a bit more peace in their hearts as they once did."
With that, Apsuna lets out a tremendous CAWWWW and rises, as do many small and human sized black birds. They circle upwards and then head to the east, their many bodies taking on the appearance of a whispy cloud in the sky.
"Well, whether you have made friends with those creatures or not, I will feel better with them being elsewhere." Sinyr comments. "Whether it tells the truth or not, the fact that it was involved with our lost mates is troubling and I would have rather you asked for the location of them. Or do elven lives not matter to you anymore?" She doesn't wait for an answer, but walks away.
The hour is late. Do you wish to camp for the evening, or enter the Athenum now?
TAKASHI: "GRAIAN, we have traveled most of the day. I think a good night's rest would do us all well, and allow those who need it, time to make preperations for the descent tomorrow."
CALLIN: "I Agree. Let us break for camp and be well rested for the morning." Callin will then look at Bindi "Let us setup camp and you can prepair your service for this evening"
TOBIAS slides off his horse, grabs his backpack and starts looking for a comfortable spot to set up his bedroll for the night.
GRAIAN: "Indeed, I think we need as much rest as we can get, perhaps we can find a way to ease some of the tension." He dismounts and leads his horse over to the Foamfollowers, "Silinar, I think we have some work to do if we are to succeed. If we are constantly having to watch our backs because the Seadreamers do not willingly support us I fear many will not return. You and your crew know them better than I do, help me understand their motivation, Sinyr has to want this to be a success."
Silinar is helping create campfires and prepare to sleep. She shrugs at GRAIAN's question.
"Sinyr wants what Vinalin wants. After so many years of being Lost and no sign of Home or even hope of finding Home. After so much death in the past fifty years. They are not alone in thinking that our Search is misguided, that this is our fate and we should make these shores into our Land, instead of the Humans or Bestials. They respect the traditions that bind us to the Conclave, so they will honor that, but don't expect them to go out of their way to help you be successful. You would have to probably show them a map to Home to get them to change their mind."
She starts the fire and blows on it to encourage the embers to burn the kindling and then looks at GRAIAN.
"I understand their despair. We've all felt it in some way. Unhomed. Lost. Few of us as compared to the Humans. Living on the edges of coastlands and islands for reasons only our ancestors knew, but didn't record. Vinalin wants answers. He wants somethign he can feel and touch and know is true. On the other hand, Shaiman believes in us, in this. He's almost... human in that regard, his faith in the Search." she smiles.
"Angon is a good first and will stand with you, not only because of the Conclave, not only because of Shaiman and the Foamfollowers, but because she keeps a steady hand on the rudder."
She touches GRAIAN's shoulder in the elven way of ending a conversation and walks to the other Foamfollowers to help finish preparations.
The evening meal is awkward. The Foamfollowers listen politely to Bindi's prayers and her stumbling thoughts on "friendship and working together" but after the evening ceremony, she beams at CALLIN. The Seadreamers keep to themselves, although the sharp-eared among you who speak elven hear some disparaging comments on the "primitives and their beliefs in tales of made up fantasies."
After the evening meal, TAKASHI will sit near the fire and pull out the map of Ramathia and nearby coastline that he and GRAIAN purchased outside the Captain's Quarters, to more closely scrutinize the map. He motions to GRAIAN to come over for a moment.
TAKASHI: "GRAIAN, do you think Silinar would be interested in seeing this? Perhaps there is nothing new here, but one never knows."
TOBIAS tries to poke his head around the side of TAKASHI so he can see the map, too.
TAKASHI, noticing TOBIAS try to worm his way in, makes space for him.
TAKASHI: "Here, TOBIAS. I saw this in the map seller's wares, and thought it may prove handy in the future, if we ever attempt to journey to Ramathia."
TOBIAS comes around and cranes his neck to get a better look, brushing back his hair as his eyes go wide. "Ramathia?"
CALLIN: "Excellent work Bindi! You have done well with a tough crowd....it is an important lession to learn. Some will be willing to Listen, some will NEED to listen, and some will resent listening to the words you speak. None of that matters. Speak the truth you know is in the Light. Spread that for all the hear and to see. Lead by not only your words but your actions. Show that the Light is real. When you do, those that are willing will start to believe, those that NEED will be satisfied, and those that resent....they will still resent, so don't rise to anger. Pity them, for they are empty of Faith, and that Bindi, is truely sad." CALLIN smiles at her and finishes "You should check your belongings and then we can eat and prepare for sleep. It will be a long day tomorrow I am sure."
Bindi beams at CALLIN... and then drops her ration into the fire. Some singed fingers and sticks later, she pulls out a charred mass of vegetables, bread and meats, but she eats it anyway.
The Seadreamers are not happy at sharing watch with the humans, and finally it is sorted out that Humans and Foamfollowers, then Foamfollowers and Seadreamers will split the watches. It is a very quiet night, with the air cooling off markedly, signaling the coming of Winter.
The day dawns and Angon and Sinyr approach GRAIAN.
At daybreak, TOBIAS rises and produces a small book from his backpack. Sitting akimbo, he studies the book intently for about half an hour, brushing the hair out of his eyes occasionally to better see the pages.
"So, Seeker... I begin to understand why our crewmates were not able to find this place." Sinyr says and she points to the odd wall where the hidden entrance is. "A sigil that can only be seen by mages. Clever, even for the Humans. Is that the only one? Are you all ready to go?"
Angon goes over to inspect the strange wall. He visibly starts and nods and returns to GRAIAN. "I see it now. An oddly generic sigil, drawn only from Etherius. Do you know why?"
Bindi whispers to CALLIN. "What are they talking about? It's just a wall, priest. Is there something there that we can't see?"
GRAIAN: "As far as we know this is the only entrance, admittedly we have not explored further up here, but it does lead to an interesting place as you will see. As to why it is drawn that way, I do not know.
I will check with the others but I believe we are ready" He collects his backpack and belongings checking the others are ready.
CALLIN whispers back to Bindi "It is an Arcane door. Just as the Light eludes some of these Elves, Arcane symbols created from sorcery are hidden from our eyes. This is why the Light has brought GRAIAN into our lives Bindi, to shine Light into a darkness we did not even see. Watch closely"
Is everyone ready for the door to be opened? Who shall open it?
TOBIAS is tempted to walk right up to the door and open it, to show Hecil and those other nasty-tempered elfs what the "pink goblyns" can do, but he doesn't want to start any trouble, so he'll look over at GRAIAN first.
TAKASHI makes ready his weapons and armor, then approaches the door with the rest of the group.
CALLIN seeing TOBIAS move toward the door will ready his shield and War Hammer, tells Bindi to stay behind me with your lantern and club at the ready, and steps up beside TOBIAS noding at him.
Seeing CALLIN's nod, Tobias makes sure his lantern is lit and steps up to the wall. Raising his hand to it, he begins to trace the arcane symbols that are necessary to open the door.
ATACIUS: "GRAIAN, with Apsuna and her flock gone there be no one to look after the horses once we're in. Maybe a couple of elfs, one of each clan, could stay behind." he suggests before they open the door.
None of the elves are willing to stay behind, but they are hobbled so that they don't wander off.
Both Sinyr and Angon watch TOBIAS very carefully as he traces the symbols. As his finger moves in the air across the sigil, a spiderweb of arcane energy grows from it towards the doors edges, revealing the secret entrance. A couple of the elves take a step back, but once the door swings open to reveal the marble stairs leading into the darkness, they all crane forward to see what is inside.
As the door finishes swinging open, TOBIAS takes a few steps backward, his eyes locked on the entrance. "Be careful," he says to no one in particular, "there's something... not right... about this place."
Sinyr and Angon take an elf each and intend on remaining in the middle of the party. The rest of the elves will remain to the rear, in double file, Seadreamers on one side, Foamfollowers on the other.
The darkness beckons...
CALLIN will nod to TAKASHI and when the warrior is ready, CALLIN will step forward with him into the darkness.
TAKASHI nods back to CALLIN.
TAKASHI: "Once more into the breach, dear friend. Let the darkness now be overcome with our light."
CALLIN: A broad smile crosses Callin's face upon TAKASHI's words "Indeed my friend! The Light shall shine from us like the beacon of a star." And with that CALLIN steps through the door.
ATACIUS: "Any elf willing to scout with me ahead, at the edge of torchlight?" asks the littleling as he makes sure his equipment is in place. "Anyone? No? What, fear of getting robbed in the dark? Ha, ha! Believe me, there are worst things to worry about down there..." he adds before turning and crossing the threshold.
ATACIUS, totally OK with you doing that, but you're OK with being out of light/torch range?
That's why I put "edge". I guess they can still see me without ruining my vision.
I get what you're saying. I treat the night vision as being possible outside of that 30' sphere that torch/hooded lantern light gives. Bullseye lanterns shoot a narrow beam, so as long as you're not in the beam, you're good. So they can "see" an indistinct shape outside that 30' sphere, that would be you :)
I'm OK with that. I'll yell if something snatches me. :)
GRAIAN takes up position next to Angon in the middle of the party, "Who are your best scouts?" He asks both Angon and Sinyr.
"Silinar and Yannon" says Angon.
Sinyr sniffs in annoyance. "Let the littleling scout ahead, he seems to have it well in hand." she says in a dismissive tone.
You catch Angon rolling her eyes. She motions to the pair that she mentioned. "Follow the littleling and ward him well. Keep your wits about you... this place feels... dark." she says in a low tone. Both the elves nod to Angon and quickly catch up to ATACIUS.
GRAIAN nods thanks to Angon, pointedly ignoring Sinyr's comment.
ATACIUS, you and the two elves walk into the entryway, where both elves stare at the obscene sculptures standing in the wall niches. The two doors to the south are closed. The room appears unchanged from when you were last here.
The rest of the group is on the stairs.
ATACIUS quietly advences to the first door to the South and motions the elfs to follow. Once there, with signs gestures he tells the elfs to watch, one in the direction of the North archway and one in the direction of the second South door. He'll then make a quick listen and then, if nothing's heard, crack open the door.
The one at 5'oclock or the one at ~7o'clock?
You hear nothing. Opening the door, you see the bell shaped hallway. The door immediately opposite you in that hallway is closed. The hallway looks as you left it.
The elft at the 7 o'clock door and the elf at the north archway hear nothing.
ATACIUS: I will rally the elfs on me and we'll proceed through the door. I'll repeat the process on the opposite door while the elfs watch over the door we came and the archway at 7 o'clock.
You hear nothing. You open the door to the library room. The door opposite you is closed. Everything seems as you left it, including some of the books left on the floor from your previous foray.
End of Turn 1
While ATACIUS and the two elves scout ahead, the other elves have gone into the Entryway and are looking around at the obscene statues and figures, as well as the marble ceilings, walls and floors.
"A display of wealth and power little seen lately." Angon says. "I wonder who the mage was who built this?"
Yannon waves to you from the door at the 5 o'clock position.
Sinyr points to the archway to the north. "What lies that way? Why does the littleling go in the direction he is going?"
GRAIAN: "I do not know Angon, but whoever it was clearly had much power and riches." Answering Sinyr's questions, "We did not explore through there yet, there was definitely something strange emanating from there. Atacius it's heading to the library, where there still much to examine."
Sinyr nods. "Lead on!" she says.
ATACIUS - what do you want to do at the library?
ATACIUS warns the elfs not to touch the smoke column and opens the door to the South. "Keep to the wall and don't touch the coins!" he whispers. He proceeds forward to the two doors on the SE.
The elves pass the word back. The group follows behind you.
@Gabriel Perez GallardiJudging by what you're telling me - and GRAIAN's drawing, you want to be in the second area of books, near the door where you heard strange sounds.
Right. He points to the South "There you have scrolls." then to the East "and here more books!" as he opens the door.
End of Turn 2
ATACIUS has led them back to the door through the hallway built into the bookshelves from the second room of books. While ATACIUS is at the door, the other elves exclaim in wonder at how many books are present. Both Angon and Sinyr seem very interested in them, noticing the lack of titles and the symbols on the spines.
ATACIUS will move as qjuietly as possible to the side corridor and spend the turn listening at the door.
You hear that same noise, as before, that is *just* within perception - it's not like anything you've ever heard before. It could be mechanical... or maybe it's magickal... or maybe natural. It doesn't seem to stay the same.
Sinyr notices the decaying tapestry and has one of the elves light a torch so he can study it. One of the elves starts to walk towards the books, and is shoved away, much as CALLIN was previously. He yells in alarm, but Angon shushes him as she is inspecting one of the books. She pulls it out and the three eyes on the cover open and look at her. She yells out herself and drops the book to the floor, where it lands with a THUMP!
TOBIAS snickers to himself upon seeing the elf being shoved back from the bookshelf. When the book drops, he can't help but speak up: "Be careful! Some of those books are really old and fragile... they turn to dust when you touch 'em."
CALLIN: "Keep your wits about you all. This place is filled with Darkness. And no creature is allowed to examine the books, save those that have magical talent." He then turns to Bindi "I know there is much to see here, but remember, keep your heart pure, and your eyes open. Do you hear that in the distance....that is the Darkness, and I have a feeling it will not be kind when it arrives."
Bindi whirls around and gasps. "Wh..wwh.... what noise, Priest?" The lantern shakes and she clutches at her club with great resolve. It's luck that she doesn't drop the lantern.
GRAIAN: "As you see there is a lot to discover, but there are certainly some chaotic magic invovled. Also beware there are magic traps around.... I had an unfortunate incident when reading one of the scrolls in these rooms.:
What would you all like to do? ATACIUS is at the door in the corridor leading SE. The rest of you are in the library of "face" books and the tapestry.
GRAIAN draws Tobias, Sinyr and Angon together, "We may not have a lot of time here, but we should spend what we have examing the books, see if we can sort them into groups. The symbols are related to the class of magic. Only the four of us can approach them. As you saw we came though another room full of written knowledge." Looking at Angon and Sinyr, "I don't suppose either of you have Dispel Magic available, it may prove to be useful....?"
TAKASHI will keep a watchful eye on the doors and exits,knowing that he can't approach the books and not liking the look fo them anyhow.
TOBIAS nods. "Ok, GRAIAN. Also, if we find any strange scrolls or books with magical runes in 'em, I made sure to memorize the spell this morning that I can use to read 'em. Maybe we can make a pile for those, too." He steps up to the shelves and starts trying to go through the books.
"Is that why we're here, GRAIAN?" Sinyr says in a mocking tone. "To pad your book collection of spells and arcane knowledge of Etherius? You said there was information on Ramathia. How do tomes of classes of magick tell us anything of Ramathia."
Angon looks to interrupt Sinyr, but reluctantly nods at the question. "She does bring up a point, GRAIAN. This is an impressive collection, and I do recognize that they are divided into some sort of classification, but I see a mage's arcane library here, not books that would tell us what we need to prove that going to Ramathia is worthy of the Search. Is there no other proof here?"
CALLIN: "Relax Bindi, moving frantically will not protect you. Stay calm and sure. Focus on the Light. Keep your Lantern True and your club ready. Open your ears and your eyes and be watchful. We cannot go near the books, nor do I wish too. It is our job here to protect those that examine the books. Let them study and learn while we guard the doors and ensure that light is available to them. Do you understand?"
GRAIAN looks at Synir and Angon "No, the purpose is to gather knowledge relating to our History. We did not have much opportunity to search this room in detail before. I believe much of this is knowledge of Magyck, but I cannot be sure. If you wish we can move on and return to this room later."
"Atacius, what do you hear?"
ATACIUS: "I... I don't know... Can't say what it is for sure, and it's barely audible..." says the littleling, a note of unease in his voice.
Angon looks like she's about to speak, but Sinyr overrides her. "GRAIAN, I see nothing here that relates to Elven history, merely the collection of spells and spellbooks moldering away. It could be useful, if we were not sent for a purpose. Perhaps there really is nothing here and this is a wild goose chase? If there is more to be seen, then lead on, I don't want to waste my time!" she snaps coldly.
TOBIAS turns from the books and begins angrily, "There are more in the...!" As all the elves' heads turn to him, he lowers his head, letting his hair fall in front of his face, and begins again, softly: "Um... there are more books in the other room, and, um... we haven't looked in all the rooms yet."
Sinyr looks at TOBIAS, then back to GRAIAN and then wordlessly moves away from the books and back to the Seadreamers. She crosses her arms in an expectant fashion, waiting to see what happens.
"Thank you, young man." Angon says. "Do you know if those books in the other room are historical in nature, or similar to the spell tomes here? And where are these other rooms that you haven't yet explored?"
Tobias, please roll me 3d20 and note if you get any 1s.
Derek Daniels rolled 2, 20, 8 on 3d20 for a total of 30
Out of the three books you were examining on the shelves, one completely falls apart when you pull it out, one is intact, but the lock is rusted shut and you can see that mold has attacked the pages. The third, though, seems intact. There is a lock on it and the six eyes open to look at you when you inspect it.
Tobias puts the moldy book against the wall, starting a "bad books" pile, then hastily shoves the six-eyed book into his backpack so he can talk to Angon.
"Well, uh, Lady Angon," Tobias begins, "There's lots of doors and portals what we've seen and not gone through yet. There are the books in the room what we just came through, and here, and the scrolls in the other room, plus there was another way we've gone before," he points to the west, "what had a room with books, and scrolls, and notes. I don't think we've seen any what were proper books of history," but any one of 'em might've been written by someone what was at Ramathia, or have something written about the place in there. There's so much to go through!"
Tobias, though he had begun speaking timidly, seems to grow in confidence as he speaks. With a quick glance at Sinyr, he adds, with just the hint of a grin at the corners of his mouth, "Also, we found a sack with something what looked pretty interesting in it in one of the other rooms. I think Lady Sinyr's team should go take a look at that one."
Angon looks at GRAIAN. "Perhaps we should focus on the areas that have the most chance of having useful information." She looks at ATACIUS. "Do you think that opening the door would be dangerous?"
One of the Seadreamer elves, the male named Yacano, looked interested by TOBIAS's comment of "something what looked pretty interesting."
"What was it ye found, young human?" he asks.
Tobias turns to answer Yacano. "It was a neck torq... made of bronze, I think. It looked like some rope, with round ends."
Yacano nods thoughtfully. "If we come across it again, that would be interesting. Why did you not take it with you?"
"We, uh..." Tobias quickly looks over at TAKASHI, CALLIN, ATACIUS and GRAIAN before finishing, "...we decided it would probably be best not to touch what doesn't belong to us."
"Hmm..." Yacano says and looks at TOBIAS carefully. "... or perhaps you thought better because something else was unfortunate? Like the scrolls?"
TOBIAS snickers a little. "No, nothing like that... GRAIAN's the only one what turned into a demon." He picks up his lantern and says, "The sack's in a room just by the entrance, I can show you if you want."
Silinar and Yannon, the two Foamfollower elves with ATACIUS look back at GRAIAN and nod. "Nothing like I've ever heard either." Yannon says. "It would be like a slow roll of the ocean from the wind, that's not water making that noise."
ATACIUS: "Every door could lead to danger down here, but if GRAIAN agrees to continue exploring this way, I have no problem to open it." he answers Angon. "In the meantime, you could check that room (he points the door to where the scrolls are), there are plenty of scrolls in there...and remember, don't touch those coins over there!"
(If they're spending next turn with the books, ATACIUS will check for traps in the door and around it, floor, frame, lock).
"The scrolls where GRAIAN mentioned an unfortunate incident?" Siryn says in an acerbic tone. "I think not."
Angon looks at ATACIUS and then raises an eyebrow.
ATACIUS look at Sinyr, raises a finger, opens his mouth to respond, then closes it as if choosing the words to say and sighs. "Don't you have the means to know which one is magick and which not? Read the non-magick, maybe you can learn something about not to being an..." he pauses and takes a breath before going on. "...not to being like that all the time." He turns around and goes back down the passage.
Sinyr doesn't respond, but she clearly understands the implication and her face darkens a bit. Angon hides her mouth, but you're pretty sure she smiled.
They both look back to GRAIAN (@Chris) waiting to see what he says.
GRAIAN thinks for a moment, "There are many items to examine i these rooms, but this one does seem to be more magyck than history. I suggest we spend a little time in the previous room before moving on, it would be a shame to risk everything when the answer may be under our very nose."
"We are not sure what the strange column is, but I think it is more than decoration! I would suggest we do not split the party too much, however, that room is quite small and full of books"
Both Angon and Sinyr agree with GRAIAN. Sinyr says she will stay in the spell book room to look further, and requests that Hecil stay with her. She asks Yacano and Rulian (the other Seadreamer elves) to go with GRAIAN back to the other library room that they were shown. Angon looks at Sinyr with an obvious look of suspicion but agrees.
Silinar and Yannon look at ATACIUS. "Guess we'll open this door another day... " and they walk back to accompany Angon.
(Unless anyone else wants to do anything here, I'll close this turn and continue in the other book room with the column. Sinyr and Hecil will stay in the spell book room.)
TAKASHI will follow along. All this talk of magic and books with eyes does not make him feel comfortable in the least.
CALLIN will stay in the spell book room. " Bindi, stay with TOBAIS. If there is any trouble call for me and I will come. For now I will make sure this room stays secure as well."
TOBIAS shrugs at Yocano and heads into the smaller library room with the others. Once inside, he triest to get ATACIUS' attention. "Pssst... Atacius... do you think you could open a lock on a book, like you opened that box back in the shed?"
ATACIUS moves next to TOBIAS and after listening to his request, he nods in assent and gives him a conspirational glance. He then moves to a quiet corner of the room.
END OF TURN
TOBIAS takes a little look around to see if anyone's watching, then walks over to join ATACIUS in the corner. "Thanks," he says softly, lowering his backpack and pulling out the six-eyed book. He holds it out to Atacius at his chest-level, with the lock facing the littleling. "Be careful not to poke an eye..."
ATACIUS carefully examines the lock and then proceeds to select the appropriate tool for the task.
CALLIN, Sinyr and Hecil remain in the spell book room, while the remainder of the party has moved back to the magical reference room with the cloudy column.
TOBIAS and ATACUIS:
This is no ordinary locking mechanism, ATACIUS. All six eyes watch you carefully, unblinking. There's no apparent keyhole. The craftsmanship is impeccable, If there is a way to open the book, it's not via any means you're aware of.
ATACIUS will examine first if there are any traps in the lock. Then, will try to see if there are any sliding or shifting parts that may hide the keyhole. Also check the spine of the book for any releasing mechanism. Can I identify the origina of the craft? Any signature of the maker?
It doesn't appear to be trapped, at least in any mechanical way that you've seen. It looks like a "normal" flaplock, except that the material may be leather or skin of some sort. The part of the lock that the flap goes into seems solid. It does look like the flesh/leather seems to "blend" into the gold metal of the lock and the flap that fits into the lock.
The spine, apart from the embossed symbol and the number "31", has nothing else on it.
There are no marks on this flaplock to indicate who made it. It is simply not opening and doesn't appear to have a mechanical means of opening it.
The eyes keep staring at you. None blink.
Those in the reference room:
It will take about an hour for everyone to go through the book titles enough to see if there are historical references or not. (Will you do that?)
All of the elves seem to listen to the warning about not to touch the swirling column.
TAKASHI will let the elves and other more scholarly types examine the books. Instead, he will approach the swirling column to try and get a better look at it, being careful to not actually touch it. Can he see anything in the swirling mists?
You're not sure if the surface is swirling, or if the column is of glass and you're seeing the swirling from inside. Whatever this column is, it's not like anything you've ever seen before.
TAkASHI will take an arrow from his quiver, and attempt to pass it through the column, or detect if there is glass surrounding the mist.
For reference, here are the 6 elven rolls: 4, 6, 3, 6, 5, 4
Derek Daniels rolled 1d6 for a total of 2
Alan Krause rolled 1d6 for a total of 4
Gabriel Perez Gallardi rolled 1d6 for a total of 3
Graian rolled 1d6 for a total of 4
OK, I was looking for 1s and 2s to see if you get a "surprise" round, meaning you get to do one action here before we start combat rounds. Yep, you read that right.
The moment that TAKASHI's arrow -tinks- on the solid surface of the column, a spark/shock similar to what one might feel from a fur rug arcs from the column through the arrow and up TAKASHI's arm. It's unpleasant, but it doesn't injure him.
The swirls stop moving for just a moment and then seem to start coalescing into swirling masses. Three of the masses seem to get large quickly and press themselves against the surface of the column. Then, a mass of substance, with the consistency of porridge, seems to -gloop- on YOUR side of the column, and then slickly slide to floor, where the substance seems to grow and take form.
Larger and larger they grow, almost with each heartbeat! They form into large, arm-length long larvae, raising up much like snakes as an opening forms at the 'head', full of razor sharp teeth. They slide and slither towards TAKASHI.
More of the swirls begin to form in swirling masses...
TOBIAS - @Derek Daniels - you get to do one action here. You are at the point where you see the masses slide to the floor. You will not have seen them become larvae yet.
TOBIAS notices TAKASHI stepping up to the column and stops to watch. When the swirling masses seem to come out of the side, his eyes go wide and he sucks in air with a quick gasp! As they slide to the floor, he raises his lantern and opens the side panel. Everything you touch in this place comes alive! he thinks. Then, digging into his pocket, he grabs one of the flasks of oil with the wick attached (as ATACIUS showed him) and brings it up to the lantern flame to try and set the wick alight. He wants to be ready to throw the oil at that... stuff... if it's dangerous.
TOBIAS/ATACIUS - Since ATACIUS has TOBIAS's newfound book, ATACIUS, you can drop it or stuff it in your pack while you change weapons. (That will be your round 1. Otherwise, you can drop it, and change weapons/move (or change weapons/fire a missle in the case of using a bow/sling/etc))
ATACIUS drops the book to the floor and, imitating TOBIAS, starts digging in his satchel for an oil grenade. "No, no, no, no, didn't we tell the elfs not to touch anything and then we do it!" he muttters nervously.
Sinyr has Hecil guard the passageway where ATACIUS heard the noise and seems to zero in on certain books, pulling them out and stacking them on the floor. She gathers about 3 of them that seem to be intact. She then holds one close and carefully inspects it. Sinry seems to "whisper" something to it, and it appears that it opens! She carefully looks inside, nods to herself, closes the book, then slides all three into a pack.
(This will have taken 3 turns. In that time, if you have a torch, it will have gone out, please mark that off and light another one, or obtain a separate light source.)
I have a lantern. How long does the Oil last? 4 hours - 24 turns.
CALLIN: will note what Sinyr has done to tell GRAIAN when he has a moment. He will also do his best to note any identifying markings he could see on the book to give this information to GRAIAN. CALLIN will then continue to observe and attempt to listen for that sound, to see if it is getting louder, or stronger, as well as note Hecil's reaction in case they pick something up before me.
The symbols are small. You would have to get close to Sinyr to see what she's doing, or look inside the sack she put the books in, to see the books she's taken. Is there a specific way you'd like to see what she's doing?
You can hear the noise only when you put your ear to the door at the end of the southeast corridor. Hecil doesn't give any indication that she hears it.
You'd have to pass by Hecil to go listen. Do you wish to do that?
CALLIN: since Sinyr is still within the area that will repel CALLIN he will simply ask a question to her. "Sinyr, it seems you have found something useful in the books you have gathered, even managing to open one with a whisper. Will this help you in your mission here?" CALLIN says this loud enough so that others will hear him in the other room.
CALLIN - roll me a d6. If you get a 1, then you managed to say that BEFORE the stuff that happens when TAKASHI touched the column. Otherwise, your words were not heard because everyone's attention is on what just fell out of the column...
Callin: rolling 1d6(2)= 2
Sinyr looks at you. "These are books that I am personally interested in, and unless you have some claim to them, they are none of your concern."
CALLIN: "I have no claim, nor a desire to have such books. I was only hoping you found some information that might prove useful to your people"
"When I am done looking at them, we'll see." Sinyr says and pointedly turns her back to you, looking at other books along the shelves.
CALLIN: "Why do you dislike us so much?" Callin asks with concern in his voice. "Have any of us wronged you in some way? All we are trying to do is help you."
"Help..." Sinyr chuckles in a not very nice way. "If that is the case, then help by standing over there." She goes back to studying the books.
Turn 5 - COMBAT
TAKASHI's investigation and experiment with touching the swirling gas column has produced an unexpected result. Things are coming out of the column! Three masses have come out and formed into the shape of roughly three foot long larvae, comeplete with gaping mouths(?) with razor sharp teeth.
The only one not caught flatfooted, TOBIAS, has prepared a molotov cocktail. The three larvae are within 10' of TAKASHI and appear to be moving towards TAKASHI.
CALLIN - you and Sinyr will hear the cries of alarm and battle during this round, which you'll be able to act upon in Round 2. You can't do a charge to double move, as you have no opponent to face, but you can sprint if you like. If you move carefully, you'll be sure to avoid the coins in the small hallway. If you're running pell-mell...
Round 1 and 2
Takashi - Will draw Flinnigan's gift, and strike at the nearest larvae.
Atacius - drops the book to the floor and, imitating TOBIAS, starts digging in his satchel for an oil grenade. "No, no, no, no, didn't we tell the elfs not to touch anything and then we do it!" he muttters nervously.
Callin - hearing the cries of alarm CALLIN's head will snap up and with his weapons ready he will make his way quickly yet carefully to the next room with his friends. (Fair enough, then go ahead and move at your normal rate per round. When we get there :>)
Graian - will get darts ready (You can throw 1 dart as you are changing weapons and firing. Or you can ready darts and move.)
Tobias - will yell, "Look out!" and try to throw his flask of oil into the middle of the larvae.
Angon and Foamfollowers - Unless anyone in the reference room tells them otherwise, three of the Foamfollowers will draw swords and step forward to assist TAKASHI. Angon will be getting darts ready. She can throw only 1 dart as she is changing weapons (from nothing to darts) (they will not be able to melee until Round 2 - drawing weapons and moving is all they can do this round)
Sinyr/Hecil - N/A - in the spell book room.
Seadreamers - The remaining two Seadreamers will call for Hecil and Sinry while drawing swords of their own.
PCs: Chris rolled 1d6 for a total of 6
Monsters: Michael S (chgowiz) rolled 1d6 for a total of 1
TOBIAS hurls his pot of oil with lit wick at the larvae. Whether it's from his anxiousness or nervousness, the pot sails in a straight line... to the shelves to the left of the column! To TOBIAS's horror, the pot bursts into flames, instantly causing the books to burst into flames!
As this is happening, the Seadreamers call for their comrades. They and three of the Foamfollower elves draw swords.
In the reference, all three look towards the open door to the west in surprise at the sounds they hear. "Follow me!" Sinyr snaps irritatedly and hurries towards the reference room. Hecil and CALLIN follow. CALLIN reaches the door to the reference room, where he can see what is going on within. Sinyr and Hecil follow, moving more nimbly, get into the room and join their comrades. "What is going on!?" Sinyr says in an imperious voice. One of the Seadreamers just points to the column and the larvae. "Fall back to the north door!" she snaps at her comrades.
Angon and GRAIAN throw darts at the larvae, Angon hitting one and GRAIAN missing. The dart sticks comically out of the larvae's side, but it and the other three continue to try and bite at TAKASHI.
TAKASHI and the larvae, meanwhile, dance a deadly duel, as the creatures slither around him, trying to bite at his legs and chest. TAKASHI slices one in half with ease, and it's body slumps into a pile of what appears to be sticky goo. The larvae are unable to bite him past his armor and skill.
Meanwhile, the three Foamfollowers step up next to TAKASHI, gingerly avoiding the burning oil, ready to fight next round!
END OF ROUND
The party finds themselves in a dangerous situation. Three of the larvae from the column are attacking TAKASHI but the Foamfollow elves have moved to protect him. The Seadreamers look to fall back to the door to the NW.
More importantly, the oil pot from TOBIAS has caused books on the shelves to left of the column to burst into flames! The oil is dripping to other books and papers and it looks as if the flames might catch more books next to them on fire! The smoke is rising from the books...
What will you do?
Takashi - Will strike at the nearest larvae again (if these are < 1 HD creatures, he has the "Fighting the unskilled" special ability. Yep, you do, and no, they are not. - Drat! ;>).
Atacius - Will leave the oil grenade back in his satchel, grab his waterskin and move, avoiding the fight, to pour its content over the fire. "TOBIAS help me put out the fire!"
Callin - will come into the room to the aid of TAKASHI attempting to strike one of the creatures with his war hammer. "Bindi, help TOBIAS!" @Joseph Schnurr Graian - @Chris Graian will help remove books from the shelves to prevent the fire from spreading
Tobias - with a low, "Nooooo..." will rush forward to the shelves, to the books that are close to the ones on fire. (Not TOO close, he doesn't want to get burned!) He'll try to start pulling the books surrounding the ones on fire off the shelf quickly and tossing them away, so they don't feed into the blaze that's already going.
Seadreamers - they look to fall back to the NW door, at Sinyr's command.
Foamfolllowers - three of them are protecting TAKASHI's flanks - Angon cannot throw more darts as the larvae are in melee.
Bindi (who I completely forgot about in Round 1...) - will do as CALLIN says - try to help TOBIAS by following his example to get books off the shelf before they burn.
PCs: Michael S (chgowiz) rolled 1d6 for a total of 6
Monsters: Michael S (chgowiz) rolled 1d6 for a total of 1
CALLIN moves next to TAKASHI as the elves and warrior hack at the thrashing and biting larvae. TOBIAS dashes towards the books, while GRAIAN and Bindi work their way to the burning mess, followed by ATACIUS who is grabbing at his waterskin to douse the flames. Smoke is starting to fill that corner of the room, and everyone there begins to cough from the acrid smell.
Sinyr and the Seadreamers keep by the door, watching the melee.
TAKASHI, CALLIN and the Foamfollowers thrust and swing at the sickly white larvae, trying to avoid their razor sharp teeth biting at them. CALLIN finally finishes one off with a -splutch- sound as the hammer smashes the creature into a pulp. Two of the Foamfollowers land blows on larvae, but one, Rynil, slips and falls from the goo left by the two killed. To his horror, the two remaining larvae gnash at him. He shrieks in pain as one of the larvae savages his legs and stomach, and he tries to roll away, slipping more in the goo and now his blood.
Meanwhile, Bindi, TOBIAS and GRAIAN are pulling books off the shelves, coughing and gasping from the smoke of the oil and burning paper. ATACIUS squirts water from his waterskin onto the flames, but the water and oil don't mix and the books now are burning with a bit of a thicker smoke. Some of the oil seems to be consumed by the flames but some continues to burn.
"WARE THE COLUMN!" Angon shouts. "MORE ARE COMING!"
And indeed, she is right. Four more masses have pushed out into the room and fallen to the floor, forming into larvae.
"It is time to leave!" Sinyr shouts.
END OF ROUND
The situation has grown more dire. Rynil has been seriously injured by the larvae, while two have been dispatched and two more have been wounded. Four more larvae have pushed their way out of the column.
Those attempting to save the books are working feverishly to clear books away from the burning section of shelves, but the flames have continued to burn on the oil and dry paper. The smoke has grown thick enough that everyone in melee and trying to save the books are coughing and gasping. (Combat will be at a -1 for those breathing smoke).
Sinyr is calling for everyone to leave. What will you do?
Takashi - TAKASHI will attempt a fighting withdrawal. "Damnable magics and their foul offspring!"
Atacius - with one hand will cover his mouth and nose with his cloak, draw his shortsword with the other and tell Bindi: "BINDI, follow TOBIAS! I'll be right behind you, go!"
Callin - will ensure that Rinyr can withdrawl and perform a fighting withdrawl with TAKASHI as well. "Seems we have stirred up the Hornets nest this time!"
Graian - @Chris Graian will take whatever books he can get and head back to the door
Tobias - grabbing a last handful of books, runs as best he can out of the thick smoke, and back to the corner where he and Atacius were when this whole mess started!
Seadreamers - are wanting to leave.
Foamfollowers - Rinyr is attempting a fighting withdrawal. The other two Foamfollowers will cover his escape, while Angon will come up to drag him away.
Bindi - still helping TOBIAS and GRAIAN with the books.
PCs: Michael S (chgowiz) rolled 1d6 for a total of 4
Monsters: Michael S (chgowiz) rolled 1d6 for a total of 1
ATACIUS, TOBIAS and BINDI move towards the corner (SE corner), but the smoke has begun to drift in that direction as well. "Shouldn't we follow them out of the room?" BINDI asks. GRAIAN grabs a random book that isn't burning and dashes towards the door. Sinyr and the Seadreamers move out of the way to allow him to exit back into the bell-shaped hallway.
CALLIN and TAKASHI, along with the two Foamfollower elves, slowly back away from the larvae which follow. Swords and hammers swing and shields block bites. Angon is dragging Rinyr, who is crab-walking away as he's pulled. "Come with us! You'll be cut off!" Angon calls to the three in the corner.
CALLIN and TAKASHI finally dispatch two of the larvae attacking them, and Yannon scores some small amount of damage on a third. CALLIN is able to keep another of the larvae from attacking him through judicious use of his shield from Sir Flinigan.
Three of the larvae focus on biting at Silinar, though, who spends the round defending herself more than attacking. She manages to keep two of them at bay, but a third one works its way in and gnashes at her sides and legs.
Slowly the four fighting the larvae back towards the door. TOBIAS, ATACIUS and BINDI realize that they are opposite where they should be, as they are now behind the larvae. They cannot see the column, from the smoke of the now dying fires, to know if more larvae are coming out of it...
END OF ROUND
Cut off! TOBIAS, ATACIUS and BINDI fled to the corner where they had started, but due to the flow of combat, everyone else has gone in the opposite direction! The three are in the SE corner of the room, and the remaineder of the party has either moved out into the hallway to the NW, or is fighting their way there. Four larvae, currently attacking the retreating party, separate the remaining adventurers from freedom!
The fires seem to be burning out, as the oil has been consumed and ATACIUS had doused some of the other books. The acrid smoke still remains in the area around the shelves and column, keeping them from seeing whether more larvae are coming...
Takashi - "We can not leave them behind, CALLIN! Stand firm and strike them down." TAKASHI will attack with a fervor born of desperation. He will not lose his friends to these hellspawn."
Atacius - "Don't worry kid, we've been out of worst." he says to Bindi with a wink. He'll then try to creep upon the remaining larvae and strike one from behind while his friends push forward to them.
Callin - "The Light guide our path!" CALLIN roars as he steps forward raining blows down upon the creatures. "BINDI, TOBIAS, ATACIUS, we are coming!"
Tobias - upon reaching the corner, bends down to pick up the six-eyed book from where Atacius dropped it earlier. "Couldn't leave you here..." he mumbles, looking into its eyes. Stuffing it into his pack, he turns back to look in horror, realizing their predicament. He starts to prepare the words for a spell in case those monsters come close, but watches to see what the others do and for a way out. (Which spell are you keeping in mind?) - Burning Hands
Seadreamers - have moved into the bell-shaped hallway with GRAIAN, waiting for the rest to follow.
Foamfollowers - Angon will drag Rinyr through the door into the hallway. "Come ON!" she yells urgently at the others.
Bindi - looks at ATACIUS and TOBIAS with terror in her eyes. "By the Light! What do we do!?!"
PCs: Michael S (chgowiz) rolled 1d6 for a total of 6
Monsters: Michael S (chgowiz) rolled 1d6 for a total of 6
GRAIAN moves back into the room, behind TAKASHI and CALLIN, who face the larvae. Yannon and Silinar bravely stay with them, to give the three in the corner time to dash past. Angon drags Rynil out into the hallway, where she begins to tend to his wounds.
ATACIUS moves carefully behind one of the larvae. Bindi tugs on TOBIAS's arm. "Come on! Let's go!" she says urgently and they make a dash for the door, keeping to the south of the larvae until they can squeeze behind those fighting and then dashing out into the bell-shaped hallway, gasping and coughing.
TAKASHI and CALLIN rain blows on the larvae while the creatures gnash at their legs. wounding them but not killing them. One manages to bite CALLIN for 5 points of damage, its razor teeth ripping long cuts into CALLIN's legs. Another bites TAKASHI for 4 points of damage, not quite as severe as CALLIN's wounds, but painful enough.
With the intense melee, ATACIUS is unable to land blows on the larvae to cause wounds.
Silinar has better luck, finally slicing into one enough that it dissolves into the goo, but it manages to bite her too, causing 2 points of damage. She spits on the goo. "Riddance to you, foul thing! You'll have to do better than to defeat me!" But her wounds bleed through her torn pants and tunic.
"They're out!" Angon yells. "Retreat and shut the door! Let's see if we can keep those foul things from coming out!"
With TOBIAS and his light source outside the room, you can't see the column anymore to know if any more masses have emerged.
END OF ROUND.
Rescued! TOBIAS and Bindi have made it around the room, with only ATACIUS behind the larvae attacking. TAKASHI, CALLIN and Silinar have been wounded but are keeping the larvae at bay, while Yannon holds the south flank and is keeping an eye on what might be coming.
"They're out!" Angon yells. "Retreat and shut the door! Let's see if we can keep those foul things from coming out!"
Takashi - "All right, everyone retreat now! I will cover you!" TAKASHI will attempt a fighting withdrawal out of the room.
Atacius - not wanting to be left behind, will dash towards the door trying to avoid the larvae.
Callin - "ATACIUS, come on!" CALLIN will attempt a fighting withdrawl as well.
Graian - Backing out he will ready a sleep spell in case the creatures come out.
Tobias - catching his breath in the hallway, will turn around to face the door. He'll back up slowly, pulling Bindi gently with him if need be, so that the others have more than enough room to get out of the library.
Seadreamers - staying in the hallway.
Foamfollowers - Silinar and Yannon will retreat alongside CALLIN and TAKASHI, assuming that ATACIUS doesn't want to stay... ;) Angon is tending to Rinyl, binding his wounds.
Bindi - staying in the hallway to protect TOBIAS. Her face is creased with fright and adrenaline. "By the Light... Light Protect us!" she keeps whispering.
PCs: Michael S (chgowiz) rolled 1d6 for a total of 2
Monsters: Michael S (chgowiz) rolled 1d6 for a total of 5
As TAKASHI, CALLIN, the bloodied Silinar and Yannon slowly withdraw back to the door, the larvae continue what appears to be their mindless attack. One larvae, so caught up in the frenzy, gnashes on itself, melting into a puddle of goo. TAKASHI slips on the goo and slams his sword into CALLIN's shield, causing CALLIN to miss in his attacks on the larvae. This gives the larvae an opportunity to dart in and wrap itself around CALLIN's leg, savaging him again severely for 5 points of damage. By the time TAKASHI and CALLIN extricate themselves from each other and the larvae, TAKASHI finds himself out of position and will take the next round to recover (you fumbled and did not save against it)
As ATACIUS slides around the flank, the third larvae turns its mouth towards Yannon and latches onto his head! To ATACIUS's and Silinar's horror, it tears into the elf, rending him with razor-sharped teeth. The elf falls. Silinar abandons her attacks and starts to drag Yannon away, who's breath is bubbling through the bloody ruins of his face.
"HELP ME!" she screams at ATACIUS, as she pulls the unconcious elf to safety.
Ominously, more wet "plops" are heard from the area of the column.
Finally, TAKASHI and CALLIN reach the door and two of the Seadreamers slam it shut and lean against it. The slick sounds of larvae bumping against it can be heard.
"Oh no... " Angon sobs as she runs to Yannon. His breath fades away. "No... no... oh no...." she cries and puts her head on Yannon's still chest. Silinar slumps down next to her. The other elves are silent and only sobs are heard over the pants of TAKASHI and CALLIN recovering from the battle.
END OF BATTLE
Yannon is dead. (Hirelings don't do the 'negative HP' rule, unfortunately, he was quite negative with only 3 hp and suffering 5hp of damage.)
Rinyl is severely injured. Silinar is very injured.
TAKASHI is at 17 hp. CALLIN is at 8 hp.
It will take a turn to rest and recover. First aid may be applied to all 4 who are injured for 1 hp back.
After a few minutes, the sounds of the larvae stop from the other side of the door.
Sinyr and the other Seadreamers gather around Angon and Silinar and lean down. One at a time, they place their hands on Yannon's chest and speak in Elven to his corpse. "May the winds and waves bear your memories forever, as we see your face and life reflected in the sun off the everlasting waters." they each say. Even Rinyl, as injured as he is, comes over to perform the ritual. Silinar takes a blanket out of her pack and begins to wrap the body as then Angon tends to Rinyl.
TOBIAS frowns and lowers his head, staring at the floor, not really knowing what to say or do.
CALLIN will head to Yannon as well "Your Light extingushed far too quickly. May you carry on in peace and in Light" He will then turn to the other elves "I am so sorry for your loss" and will bow his head to them. Callin will then head to TAKASHI to bind his wounds. "I will say that I am no longer a fan of bugs, lets take a look at your leg."
Graian will join in the Elves in the ritual, and helps Silinar wrap the body.
ATACIUS: Yannon fought and died so everyone could escape the larvae, and because of that the littleling will, as is custom in the burial rituals among his kin, cut a lock of his hair and put it in the hands of the elf. "Farewell, may every crew remember your name when they set foot in their long lost lands."
TAKASHI will observe the elf's passing with a moment of silence and contemplation, and then allow CALLIN to look over his wounds.
TAKASHI: "It is nothing serious, brother. I am afraid that I escaped the worst of it while you all suffered for my foolishness. What madness caused someone to create such a portal to hell itself? And why?
I hesitate to say it, but those that can must press on to try and find something to make this elf's life not to be lost in vain."
CALLIN: "It is battle my friend. It is only foolish if we give up! The Light simply chose to allow you to stand and fight, while I bear the burden. We stand against the darkness, sometimes a shadow creeps over but we will prevail. As for madness, it is allowing the darkness to consume yourself in power. Those thoughts are the spark that leads to the fire of madness." CALLIN looks over at Synir as he says the last line.
GRAIAN stands up, "Yes there is much to explore, but you have seen what we are up against. There will be more like this, and probably worse, we are dealing with dark times, searching for knowledge lost for many ages, in a place that was created by forces of chaos.
Synir, you and your followers have been sceptical from the beginning, if you wish to leave I will bear you no ill, but if you stay you must be at one with us. I do not know if we will find what we are seaching for, but we need to trust each other. Yannon gave his life, it would be a dishonour not to do our best."
Walking to Synir he stops in front of her, speaking softly but with passion, "Let us be one nation, do not let petty ideals and pride get in the way."
The circle of elves around Yannon's body opens up for GRAIAN as he takes part in the ritual and helps Angon wrap the body. Once finished, Angon speaks:
"Oh waves and water, accept this shell back into your embrace,
Know that the spirit once within is now free,
Swimming gladly among those who live within the deeps,
To begin once again in the cycle,
And to bring us all joy in knowing they live again in Home."
Angon then nods to CALLIN and ATACIUS to allow them to approach.
After he's finished speaking, Angon bows low. "Although we do not share in your worship, CALLIN, I thank you for your consideration. And you, ATACIUS, you honor him and us with your gift."
She then looks at GRAIAN. "Well... as the leader of this Search, what say you?"
Sinyr comes closer to hear GRAIAN's words.
After GRAIAN speaks, Sinyr interrupts Angon.
"Pithy words! Yes, a Seeker is dead, all so that you could go to a place that you did not know of, or warn us of before! You claimed to have knowledge of books that would tell us of Ramathia and the elves there, but instead, we find ourselves among spell books and tomes of arcane knowledge! Did you bring us here to enrich yourself, now at the expense of a life? Or was this Shaiman's idea, to gather power?"
"Petty ideals, you say? It is you and Shaiman who send us here on foolish half-truths and rumors."
She turns to Angon. "Angon, Silinar is wounded and Rinyl, even more so. This Search is over, with nothing found. These humans and this elf lead us on a fool's errand. You and I can call for the vote. We can end this needless bloodshed and return, to deal with the pressing issues that we should be concerned with!"
Angon listens silently, then she looks at GRAIAN to see what he will say...
CALLIN: "Yet you yourself have taken books from the shelf, spoken words to unlock them and kept them hidden for yourself Sinyr. Yes a Seeker has fallin and that is a tragic loss. But it would do us well to push on in his honor. Find the information your people need. Unless of course you are scared to face the darkness."
GRAIAN sighs "Synir, this search is not over, if you wish to go back, go, but I am in charge and we have 10 Days. This was an unfortunate start, but if you look Rynil is healed, I do not take the loss of Tannin lightly, but we all knew the risks if this journey." Turning to Angon, "Do you think we should abandon this quest? My friends and I will continue, if you do return with Synir I would ask that you make sure we are given the 10 days before any further decision is made."
While the elves talk, Bindi approaches Rinyl and asks if she might heal him. He looks at her a little suspiciously at first. In a tremulous voice, she begins the hymn and prayer of healing, but as she makes her way through it, her voice begins to strengthen and by the end, she is delivering it in a fervent voice. The wounds on Rinyl begin to softly glow and heal. (Rinyl is healed for 8 points of damage, the max!) He is completely healed and he jumps to his feet, his eyes wide.
"Sun and Sea! Do you see that, Silinar!?" he exclaims as he pats his now healed legs in an unbelieving manner. "I'd heard of the strange ways of the humans, but never seen or felt... " He looks at Bindi, who beams back with happiness. "It's the Light!" she says. "I believe and it allowed me to heal you!"
Rinyl shakes his head. "I don't know how you did it... but thank you." and he hugs her.
CALLIN: Will pat Bindi on the shoulder. " Well done Bindi! Your Faith in the Light is strong! Not just here, but helping TOBAIS under presure. I am glad you were chosen to accompany us Bindi. It is an honor to adventure with you."
Bindi smiles gratefully at you. "I am trying, Priest CALLIN... but that poor elf and those things... " tears trickle down her face. "Will we have to face more of those?"
CALLIN: "As a beacon of the Light, you will always face Darkness. How you choose to deal with the Darkness is what matters. Do you stand against it even if it frighens you, or do you let it consume you? Today you stood against it. You let your Light shine. Do that and your path will always be sure"
TOBIAS frowns at the bickering elfs. All they want to do is fight, he thinks to himself. He shrugs off his backpack and goes to sit on the floor beside it, his back against the wall. He smiles a bit when he sees Bindi heal Rinyl and when the elf jumps back up, good as new. Growing bored after, he reaches into his pack and pulls out the 6-eyed book, looking it over and fiddling with the strange lock. With a frustrated look, he turns the cover back towards him to look at a few of the strange eyes. "I need to get in there to see if there's anything that can help us, and I don't know how to unlock you," he says. "Will you open up for me?"
Nothing happens in response to your question.
TOBIAS keeps looking into the eyes of the book, watching for any signs of reaction to his words, or signs of true sentience.
The eyes blink first... but nothing happens.
Angon sighs, looking at Yannon's body.
"It is more than unfortunate, he was a crew mate and I saw him grow up to be a good elf. He was just out of his fifties."
She turns to GRAIAN.
"I want to continue the Search but I just don't know. Silinar is injured too... can one of your human friends assist her more? At least we can be prepared."
She turns to the other party members. "Are there other areas that have the books that we might be looking for? Are there places you haven't been to in this place? And are there other ... things (she shudders) like that?"
ATACIUS: "We've seen but a small part of this place and been advised not to explore the lower levels. Darker things dwell down there.", the littleling tells ANGON.
"There are a couple of doors down that archway we haven't explored." he says pointing at the archway to the SW. "There's also a door through the archway North from where we first entered this place.", he continues, pointing at the NW door. "There's a black column there too, which we should not touch if we chose to go that way.", he adds looking at TAKASHI.
TAKASHI pointedly studies the motes of dust floating in in the stale air, dancing around his feet.
Angon nods. "That would be ... wise." she says. "I do not blame you for Yannon's death, he knew the risks - but we should make sure to not risk too much."
Sinyr snorts in derision but remains silent otherwise. Both appear to be waiting for GRAIAN to make the decision on where to go.
CALLIN will see to Silnar's injuries. If a binding will do, that is what he will do, if it requires Cure Light Wounds he will do that as well/instead
CALLIN, it will require a CLW. Go ahead and roll it and let me know what Silinar was healed for...
CALLIN: Callin (GM) Heals his comrade for: 2
The worst of Silinar's wounds heal under your prayers and song, not quite as dramatic as Rinyl's healing, but it is noticable all the same. Silinar bows to you. "Human, you almost make me believe that there is something to what you say, with your fervent belief and these ... miracles that you perform. Thank you."
CALLIN: "The Light shines upon all who stand against the Darkness. It is not a miracle, only a Faith, Faith that We can do something against the Darkness. Come let us find what we can to help your people" Callin will offer his hand to the Elf.
Silinar smiles. "I have heard of this custom. I put my hand in yours and we see who can grip the hardest?"
CALLIN smiles back: "Close, we just use a firm grip to show we are friends and that we do not draw our weapons on one another. I believe it comes from the Knight culture showing they come in peace and show no threat of reaching for a weapon. I use it to show friendship"
GRAIAN ponders the options, "There is much we have not yet explored, I think we leave the library for now, the arch North of where we entered eminates a very dark presence, the strange noises to the South of the other library are not enticing. We have options, we can go back to the edge of the second level, there are two doors there that we have not gone through, we should start there."
Angon nods. "So there is much to explore. Let us take Yannon's body to the entrance, so that it is there when we leave."
End of resting turn - Turn 6
Turn 7 and 8
The three Foamfollower elves pick up Yannon's body in the blanket and motion to ATACIUS to lead them back to the entrance hall. Once there, they gently lay down his body next to the arch that leads to the stairway out.
Angon straightens up after laying Yannon down. She looks at Sinyr and then at GRAIAN.
"I will agree to continue further, as long as we can ensure that we take all precautions to be safe. You say there is a 'dark presence' to the north (she motions to the archway to the north leading into the hallway) and that there are strange noises to the south. Which is more likely to have the information you seek?"
TOBIAS has his backpack on again, and his lantern held high. He brushes back hair from his face and says, "I think I remember some books down the west ways from when we went down there, but..."
ATACIUS: "Maybe we can check those to doors. No need to go further down, at least not today." suggests the littleling as he checks all his gear is in place.
CALLIN: Once back at the archway CALLIN will draw into himself, chanting a prayer to the Light, requesting that he might be strong against the Darkness, and stand with his friends. (cure light wounds: Callin (GM) Heals his comrade for:4 on himself )
GRAIAN nods his head, "OK ATACIUS, once again your unique skills may be required." he heads towards the bell shaped room.
CALLIN: once recovered will follow GRAIAN
TAKASHI will also follow GRAIAN, limping a bit.
ATACIUS will be the point littleling and proceed through the SE archway, slowly and carefully. Once at the doors he'll listen to the North one first, then to the South one.
You proceed south out of the entrance hallway, then SW through the bell-shaped hallway into the narrower hallway leading west. At the end of the corridor is the blank wall where you went through to get to the 2nd level, and the two doors in the north wall and south wall facing each other.
ATACIUS, from behind the north door, you hear the quiet sound of running water. From the south door, you hear nothing. You smell moisture from both doors, and the south door has a "loamy" smell around it. It tickles your memory that you've smelled this before... it brings back childhood memories for some reason.
TOBIAS brings the lantern up close to ATACIUS so he can get a good look at the doors, and the blank wall if he wants.
ATACIUS will check for traps on the North door before opening it.
As TOBIAS brings the latern up, Sinyr lets out an audible sound of surprise and peers intently at the west wall. He then composes himself and watches ATACIUS with interest.
It is a "pizza slice" shaped room - with the "point at the 4 o'clock position and the two corners of the edge at 11 and 8'oclock. The air is warm and moist and smells of plants. The sound is coming from a delicate fountain that is shooting six streams of water into a pool beneath it. There are jars of strange plants directly underneath the streams. Plants that none of you have ever seen before. Their leaves and stalks are of odd colors that seem to be blends of vibrant yellows, blues, reds and oranges. There are two benches near the fountain.
There is nothing else in the room.
TOBIAS tries to get a close enough look at the plants to see if there are any in there that he's read about that might make good spell components. He'll avoid the streams.
On 6d6, roll at/under your INT score. If you succeed, I'll tell you what you've figured out. If you don't succeed, these plants just simply look like nothing you've ever seen before.
Derek Daniels rolled 5, 6, 4, 5, 5, 3 on 6d6 for a total of 28 - No luck this time.
ATACIUS moves along with TOBIAS, just in case. He looks at the pool. Is the water clear? Is the pool clean? Is there anything in the water?
"There's nothing here. I'll check the other door." he turns around and leave. "And don't touch anything! That pool is too clean with nobody around to take care of that." he adds on his way out.
Yes. Yes. No. It looks very ordinary.
TAKASHI will sit at one of the benches near the fountain, and try to calm his nerves.
While you all have been in the fountain room, Sinyr has remained outside, studying the western wall very carefully, pursing her lips. Her demeanor isn't the normal, cool detachment, but one of intensity now.
ATACIUS, you are at the south door. It appears to be similar to the other doors of this level, no locks or obvious traps.
TAKASHI, feeling calmer and more refreshed, will walk outside the room and watch Sinyr stude the western wall.
TAKASHI: "I see nothing unusual there - what do you perceive that I do not?"
Sinyr ignores you and continues to study the wall.
TAKASHI (under his breath): "For an elder race, it is surprising that they never developed manners."
CALLIN: "It seems there is something to the West Wall. GRIAIN, do you sense anything with it?" CALLIN will continue to keep his eyes peeled for anything that might strike. "Bindi, how are you holding up?"
Bindi has stayed close to you since the battle at the reference room. She smiles nervously at you. "F... fine, Priest CALLIN."
CALLIN: "Stay strong Bindi. Have Faith in the Light. You can do this"
TOBIAS, seeing people paying attention to the west wall, heads over that way, leaving the fountain room. "That's where..." he begins, but suddenly stops, staring unblinking at the wall for long seconds. Finally, he breaks eye contact, looking down at the floor with a frown. "That's where Sir Flinigan... died..."
Raising his lantern a bit, he notices TAKASHI's disapproving gaze on Sinyr. The lad points at her. "She's probably hearing the voice what's whispering from behind the wall", he says.
GRAIAN joins Sinyr at the West wall to study it. "This used to be an entrance that lead to a dark lower level, where Sir Flinigan's wife, Christina, was being held captive by Wriaths. We did free her spirit and they were re-united in the next life. Once we brought both their bodies back through the opening it closed off."
Sinyr starts to speak, then appears to stop. She speaks carefully, pointedly looking at GRAIAN. "So... you are not able to open the entrance again? Do you know if it's here or not?"
GRAIAN answers "This is the first time we have been back. Christina told us the way would be closed after we passed through. I haven't yet studied it, but given what we experienced down there I am not sure we should be eager to go back. Christina was a follower of magyck as we are."
Sinyr nods. "I see. Interesting." She then turns away from the wall and watches to see what ATACIUS will do at the South door.
ATACIUS takes a moment before opening the South door. The scent in the air reminds him of the hills near the coast, the ploughed lands after the rain... it brings a smile on his face. He then, with a sigh, opens the door.
... and realizes that it wasn't grass he was remembering, it was the smell of wet earth and mushrooms. The room is very humid and dark, and there long rows of rectangular boxes full of dirt and various mushrooms and fungi. The smell is very heavy in this room. You know mushrooms, from the common whitecap to the rare Red Tongue-Dancer (spicy), and none of these look very familiar.
This room is a quarter of a circle, with the arc'ing wall opposite you from south to west. You are in the NE corner of the room. The wall going west from the corner you are in is roughly 30' long, and the wall going south from the corner you are in is the same length. A door is in the east wall. It is closed.
ATACIUS, staying clear of the fungi, will move to the door on the East wall. As he moves, is there any visible mechanism used to bring water from the fountain room to this one?
Not that you can see, no. The air itself is very moist and warm. The dirt is also moist and the various mushrooms and fungi are damp. But the floor, ceiling and walls appear to be the same material as elsewhere on the level... and not wet.
The door appears to be similar to the other ones you've encountered. You hear nothing behind it.
Not that you can see, no. The air itself is very moist and warm. The dirt is also moist and the various mushrooms and fungi are damp. But the floor, ceiling and walls appear to be the same material as elsewhere on the level... and not wet.
The door appears to be similar to the other ones you've encountered. You hear nothing behind it.
TOBIAS follows behind ATACIUS with his lantern, keeping an eye on the mushrooms just in case...
ATACIUS gives a nod to TOBIAS and slowly opens the door...
TAKASHI will follow TOBIAS and ATACIUS into the fungi room, and supervise as they open the door - just in case.
CALLIN will enter as well staying close to ATACIUS
You open the door to a room that is roughly rectangular. It's about 30 feet north/south and 20 to 30 feet east/west. You've come in close to the middle of the west wall. There are no other exits. The southern wall has a slight concave curve.
At first, ATACIUS, it seems like there are people in this room! However, once you take a second look, you realize they are statues, organized neatly around the room. There are 7 figures in various poses.
The humidity and moisture from the mushroom room does not appear to be present in this room. There is, however, a faint whiff of decay.
TAKASHI: "Odd place for a statuary. Of course, this entire underground complex seems odd to me."
CALLIN: "Indeed, I'm not sure the mindset of those who populated it!" CALLIN then peers at the statues to see if any are sculpted of familiar people (famous or not)
TOBIAS moves into the statue room as well.
ATACIUS: From the light shed by TOBIAS lantern, can we see what race does they represent? What are the expresions of their faces? Any weapons?
GRAIAN will move into the room with the mushroom. Careful not to disturb them he will look to see if there is any he recognizes.
ATACIUS: All of them appear to be in robes or fine clothing. Of the seven, five appear to be human and two are elven. They appear to be in thought, or reaching out hands in some action, though it's hard to say what that is.
GRAIAN: Roll me 5d6 against your intelligence.
GRAIAN rolled 3, 4, 2, 3, 1 on 5d6 for a total of 13 vs 17 INT
The memories come back of picking mushrooms out of the root cellar for your teacher, Zabbas. "Mind the orange and green ones, Gollin!" He could never remember your name, but he had a memory for the most obscure of arcane trivia. Including mushrooms.
Of course, you touched the orange and green one. And, of course, food for the next three weeks tasted like spices heaped on top of spices. Zabbas simply smiled, chuckled and had you copy Read Magic scrolls for the umpti-umpth time.
A few of those are orange and green ones. And a few others you recognize. It will take you 6 turns to collect them safely, but you will have 100gp of spell/ink components. (Meaning you can use these instead of spending gp to create a scroll.)
TAKASHI/CALLIN/TOBIAS/ATACIUS: As you walk around the room, looking at the statues, which are extremely detailed, you keep catching whiffs of decay. It's not a pleasant smell at all!
Then, as (1 = TAKASHI, 2 = CALLIN, 3 = TOBIAS, 4 = ATACIUS, Michael S (chgowiz) rolled 1d4 for a total of 1 ) TAKASHI walks in front of the statue directly opposite the door, it reaches out with a heavy hand and rains blows on him! (Surprise attack - against AC2) TAKASHI is able to block the blows with expert use of his shield and relying on his dexterity to dance out of the way.
It's obvious what this "statue" is, some sort of creature, that looks human, but was dressed and covered to resemble a statue! It shambles off the short stand and presses the attack!
Turn 9 - Combat!
TAKASHI has been surprised by some creature, that was dressed like a statue, but smells of decay. CALLIN, ATACIUS and TOBIAS are in the room with him. The elves, who remained in the mushroom room or in the hallway between the two odd garden rooms, let out shouts of alarm. The Foamfollowers look to enter the mushroom room, while the Seadreamers stay in the hallway.
Takashi - Recovering from his surpise thanks to his relentless combat training, TAKASHI will try to strike down the unknown creature with his enchanted blade. "Beware! This statue is more dangerous than usual!!!"
Atacius - will draw his shortsword and move next to TOBIAS, watchful of the other statues.
Callin - Smelling the wiffs of decay, CALLIN will hold his symbol of Light aloft and attempt to turn the undead! "Back away creature of Darkness! Or face the Light!"
Graian - will move to the doorway of the statue room
Tobias - will draw one of the daggers from his belt, his head swinging from left to right, and back again, watching to see if any of the other statues are starting to move. "Kill it, Takashi!"
PCs: Michael S (chgowiz) rolled 1d6 for a total of 3
Monsters: Michael S (chgowiz) rolled 1d6 for a total of 5
CALLIN holds aloft his holy symbol. "Back away creature of Darkness! Or face the Light!" he intones... and then his voice falters. Who knows what sudden thought or darkness entered his faith. He is unable to turn back the creature. (Michael S (chgowiz) rolled 1d20 for a total of 1)
ATACIUS and TOBIAS move to TAKASHI's flanks, staying well out of the way of his fight with the creature. GRAIAN moves to the doorway.
The creature raises both its arms to slam them into TAKASHI, who oddly enough seems offbalance enough that the creature has the initiative in melee... and then a small voice rings forth with authority.
"GET AWAY, THING! THE LIGHT PROTECTS US!" Bindi shouts and the creature immediately turns and runs into the SE corner, cowering away from the force of her faith and the pure white light that shines from the holy symbol and her eyes. (Michael S (chgowiz) rolled 1d20 for a total of 19)
"Take care of it!" she says. "I don't know how long I can keep it away!"
END OF ROUND
Note: The creature is sufficiently turned and not powerful enough that it can be dispatched if desired, without further combat. Is that what you want to do?
The creature seems to have had the best of CALLIN, having a moment of doubt, and TAKASHI, off-balance from the surprise attack, but Bindi has turned the undead creature away. It is cowering helpless in the corner. None of the other statues seem to be moving. It will be easy enough to dispatch the cowering undead if desired.
Takashi - TAKASHI will charge towards the creature cowering in the corner, and with a svage blow, attempt to end its dark and unholy existence.
Atacius - will follow TAKASHI and also attempt to stab the foul creature.
Callin - "The Light is indeed strong within you Bindi!" Callin yells to her. Then he sents his voice to the creature "The Light shall smite all that dwell in darkness! Begone vile creature" and will swing down his Hammer to destroy the vile thing.
Graian - will look around the room and noticing the dead creature will prepare Magic Missile in case any others start to attack
Tobias - watches nervously as they attack the creature, pushing hair from his eyes and still looking around from time to time. "Wh- what IS it?" he stammers to no one in particular.
In moments, the unlife spark in the creature's body is extinguished and it begins to decompose in a blink of an eye, In heartbeats, little is left but some bones and a skull.
END OF COMBAT.
CALLIN: will walk over to Bindi. "It seems the Light shines ever so bright with in you! You stand strong against the darkness! It suits you well Bindi."
TAKASHI: "Perhaps we should check the other statues to make sure there is nothing left to surprise us in this room."
Bindi smiles and then throws her arms around CALLIN in a big hug. TAKASHI has to duck as her cudgel goes flying, forgotten out of her hand in her rush to get some comfort.
"Oh Priest, I could not have done it without you believing in me!" Then she sees the club lying near TAKASHI's feet and blushes.
TAKASHI - the other statues appear to be what you expect them to be - made of marble or stone and inanimate.
TOBIAS walks over cautiously to where the creature's remains lie on the floor and kneels over them with his lantern. Frowning, he pokes at the bones a bit with his dagger, trying to get a clue to what this thing might have been.
Having not discovered much of interest with the skull and bones, TOBIAS' curiosity next has him walking by the statues one by one to look them over.
The skull appears to be human or elf, but beyond that, a few bones and a slight shimmer of residue left on the floor, there is nothing that indicates what sort of undead creature this was.
All of them appear to be in robes or fine clothing, and are finely detailed. Of the six left, four appear to be human and two are elven. They appear to be in thought, or reaching out hands in some action, though it's hard to say what that is.
TAKASHI: "Most interesting poses, and so finely detailed. I have heard tales of people being turned to stone by arcane wizardry, and this underground complex seems to be infused with it. TOBIAS, do you think these may have once been living people?"
TOBIAS' eyes go wide at the suggestion, and he leans in for a closer look. "I can't tell! Do you think they might have been...?"
TAKASHI: "I am not gifted in seeing the things that you and GRAIAN can, TOBIAS. I was hoping you might be able to see something that I could not. I just think that these statues are in very odd poses..."
CALLIN: Returns the hug and says "You did great, but let's not club poor TAKASHI during our celebration!" CALLIN says jokingly. "Now let us gather ourselves and our wits, this place is still dangerous and we must be vigilant."
She sheepishly smiles and tucks in the club into her belt and nods. She stays a little bit closer to you, while casting glances at the skull, and at TOBIAS, to see what he is doing.
GRAIAN walks over to Bindi, "Well doneBindi, to step forward at such a time and behave so selflessly is indeed rare in one so young. I do not understand or believe in your ways, but clearly you have power within you, Callin, I believe you have found a willing and able apprentice."
CALLIN: "Indeed, Bindi, is a blessing to us all" Callin says with a smile.
Meanwhile ATACIUS will check the South and East walls for any secret or hidden passages or niches.
Checking those walls will take several turns. Is that what you want to do?
He'll start checking, but stop if prompted to leave.
GRAIAN will move to the pillar the undead creature was standing on and start to examine the area around it.
GRAIAN seems very interested in the wall behind where the undead creature was standing. Nothing obvious to anyone else, though...
GRAIAN calls to Angon and Synir, "Do you see that, on the wall behind where the creature was standing?"
Angon comes quickly in answer to GRAIAN's call, while Sinyr takes her time to come in, looks at the statues, takes a look at the bones and skull in the corner, then makes her way over by the two other elves.
Both look at the wall for a moment and then nod to GRAIAN.
"More secrets and supposed tomes of proof, Graian?" Sinyr says in a mocking voice. She reaches out to touch the center of the wall where the elves are looking. A brief green/purple glow shows the outline of a door in the wall. It then cracks open a little bit.
"Please, do show us the miracle you seek!" she says and then laughs briefly. Angon merely rolls her eyes.
END OF TURN 9 and 10 (one rest turn, one turn of dealing with secret door)
After dispatching of the undead creature in the statue room, the elves have found a secret door. Sinyr has caused the door to open.
CALLIN: will ready himself and step up toward the Elves to prepair for the next room. "Shall we illuminate the darkness?" He asks GRAIAN.
TAKASHI: "Too many secrets in this place, but perhaps that will mean untouched locations with the knowledge we seek."
TOBIAS raises his lantern and eyes the door eagerly.
ATACIUS stops looking for secret rooms on the South wall and join the elves and his friends. "You guys are going to leave me without a job!" he says to GRAIAN. "Let me go first."
The door opens to a small and narrow room, compared to the other places in the Athenum. It also is different in construction, being of roughly finished stone walls, ceiling and floor. It is maybe five feet wide and ten feet long.
What is most noticeable about the room is the mess. It looks like a junk room, with broken tables and chairs tossed in haphazard fashion on top of crates, rotting sacks and barrels. There is barely enough room to move around in it, if you wish to explore it.
There don't appear to be any other exits from this room.
TAKASHI: "So much for my unspoiled theory of secret doors!"
CALLIN: "Perhaps we should stay out here and not overcrowd the room." Callin will say taking a step back to allow others to enter the room.
TAKASHI will move aside, following CALLIN's lead.
GRAIAN looks at Angon and Synir, "Somewhat strange for a room behind a secret door. Care to join me?" He moves towards the doorway
Sinyr barks a laugh. "A perfect symbol of what I expect we'll find here. Junk. Truly, Angon, you still believe that there is some mysterious tome of knowledge here? We've found death, traps, gardens and now junk. Please... do call when you find something... useful." She turns and exits the statue room and the Seadreamers follow. She leaves the mushroom room as well and goes back to the main hallway.
Angon sighs. "She does have a point, Graian. This... " she waves at the room. "... doesn't seem to give us what we're looking for." She waits in the doorway, if GRAIAN will continue to poke around the room. The other Foamfollowers whisper to each other. ATACIUS, you hear them speaking in Elven, but you don't understand what they are saying.
GRAIAN sighs "If this was easy it would have been found before. There are many areas we have yet to explore and we already know there is great knowlede here. I cannot guarantee we will find what we are looking for, but given the consequences of failing I think we should try our best. Sinyr is not interested in finding anything, all she wants to do is start a war." He follows Tobias into the room.
Angon nods. "Perhaps, my friend, but it's hard to deny the logic of what she's saying, so far, this has been a fruitless trip."
TOBIAS shakes his head at the exiting Seadreamers. "Those elfs are silly. If you're going to hide something, what better place than in with a bunch of junk? Who's gonna look there? Besides, most of the good stuff I've found has been things that must have been thrown away, or lost." He tries to squeeze in to the room with his small frame and begins to ferociously search through the items inside, with an eye out for what he would consider good places to hide something.
Roll a d6 please, and tell me what you get.
Derek Daniels rolled 1d6 for a total of 2
For ten minutes, you sort through flotsam and jetsam, and come up with discarded papers with scribbles or molded/illegible writing, bits of junk that look like spare parts or miscellania, and empty sacks within sacks. A few broken figurines. Even some burnt books that smell recent
Tobias will keep searching through things, if the others let him.
With a bit of an oily aroma? :)
ATACIUS: "Maybe there's another secret passage behind all this junk..." and he starts moving it out of there and into the statues room.
It will probably take the better part of 3 to 4 turns to empty the room sufficiently, with 2 to 3 people working. Is that what you want to do?
TAKASHI will lend ATACIUS a hand (if he wants to empty out the room), hoping not to trigger any more surprises!
If nobody else objects....
CALLIN will continue to wait outside the room as it looks crowded in there. He will watch to make sure there is no trouble from this side of the room.
GRAIAN watches Atacius and Takashi as they begin to move things out of the room, "I am not sensing anything in her. I will return to examine the plants in the fountain room."
It will take you two 4 turns to sufficiently clear out the room to be able to inspect the walls. TAKASHI and ATACIUS, roll me 4 d6s - let me know the individual rolls (not the total).
(Michael, will TOBIAS get any additional rolls for more searching while this is going on?)
If you participate in the hauling, it will reduce the time to 3 turns. You each would roll a d6 3 times instead of T/A rolling 4 times each. Is that what you all want to do?
On the 2nd turn of clearing out the room enough to search for more secrets, ATACIUS finds a sack that has what appears to be an intact book. It has the title of "The Features of the Six Classifications of Fauna of the Southern Isles" by a "G.S. Yerkshimer, Esquire".
ATACIUS flips through the first pages to see if he recognizes the names of the islands.
It appears to be gibberish on the pages inside the book - no language that you understand.
ATACIUS: "I can't undestand a word here!" he says frustrated throwing his arms into the air, then puts the tome aside and keeps looking in the room.
"Let me see!" TOBIAS exclaims excitedly, and scrambles over to where Atacius and Takashi are.
TAKASHI: "Perhaps GRAIAN would be familiar with the writings, ATACIUS. I'll give it to him"
TAKASHI will pick up the tome, then go off to find GRAIAN and show him the book.
TOBIAS hovers around TAKASHI and follows him into the other room, eyeing the book whenever he can.
TAKASHI notices TOBIAS taking an interest in the book, and stops and hands it to him. Grinning, TAKASHI speaks to the young lad.
TAKASHI: "Perhaps YOU would like to look at it, TOBIAS? And if it perplexes you as well, you will see what GRAIAN thinks?"
TOBIAS smiles and nods, taking the book. With an eager, hopeful look on his face, he opens it...
The book changes once TOBIAS holds it. It now has the now-familiar look of a leathery skin, two eyes but in this case, there is no locking strap on the book. When TOBIAS opens it, he realizes that he'll need the spell of Read Magic to understand the writings on the pages.
TOBIAS' eyes grow even larger upon seeing the book change, and he hurriedly places it on the floor open-faced, dropping to his knees to kneel before it. He quickly brushes back some hair, then begins the motions and incantations of the Read Magic spell.
TOBIAS, there is a spell in this book. Please make your roll to understand the spell. It is a second level spell.
Derek Daniels rolled 1d100 for a total of 36 - That's under my percent chance, which is 55 if I remember right, I should be good
That's correct. Congratulations, you now know the spell. Be sure to keep track of the number of spells you "know" by level, so that you don't exceed the maximum.
TOBIAS finishes studying the book and smiles. He looks up at TAKASHI and says, "Master GRAIAN will definitely want to see this!"
TAKASHI: "ATACIUS found this, but we can't make out the writing inside. Perhaps you might be able to?"
GRAIAN is with the Foamfollower elves in the mushroom garden that connects to the statue room. The door to the hallway is closed. Angon is following GRAIAN as he pokes and looks at the various fungi. The other Foamfollowers seem bored.
A little over two hours have passed since you enterd the Athenum. TOBIAS, ATACIUS and TAKASHI have cleared out the room somewhat in a search for secret passages, and have found a book that was a spell book. CALLIN has maintained watch with Bindi in the statue room, while GRAIAN and the Foamfollowers are in the mushroom garden. Sinyr and the Seadreamers are in the hallway.
Rinyl, who became very bored at Angon and GRAIAN looking at mushrooms, opens the door to the hallway to look out, then squeaks in surprise.
"They're gone!" he exclaims! "The 'dreamers... Sinyr... they're not in the hallway!"
CALLIN: "Sinyr, took some of the magical tombs from the Library. I'm not sure if she plans on using them. Can anyone track them?"
GRAIAN: " I have no way of tracking them, did you notice anything about the books she took?"
TOBIAS, having entered the garden to find GRAIAN and tell him about the new-found spell, overhears the talk and stops, looking off at nothing, obviously lost in thought. Suddenly, he whips his head around and says, "The magic door! Sinyr was looking at it before... If they went in there, who knows what could happen!"
CALLIN: "The book looks like the other magic books you have been examining with the locking strap across it. I did notice when she took the books she whispered some words and the book unlocked itself. She perused it a bit, then locked it back up and put it in her satchel." Callin listens to TOBIAS then cringes. "I do hope you are wrong TOBIAS. That is a place of pure evil and darkness. No man should be down there."
GRAIAN: "If they did go through there that is asking for danger, we had a very close call dealing with the darkness we found. Angon, we should examine the door more closely, but we should quickly search for them to make sure they did not return to one of the other rooms, I would not like to mess with that door unneccessarily."
Angon shakes her head. "GRAIAN, I am worried about Sinyr. She is headstrong and would not hesitate to tack against strong or dangerous winds if she thought that would lead her to power. Let us look at this wall."
She turns to the rest. "I can send Rinyl and Silinar with two of you to go back to the entrance to see if Sinyr has left. Would you be agreeable with that? Who will go?"
Once at the western wall in the hallway, she looks at it and shakes her head. "I see nothing, my friend. I could cast a spell that would tell me of the presence of magick, but I fear that will help us little, you've already said that a door is there. How was it opened the last time?
TAKASHI will volunteer to go with two elves to check the entrance, as the others ponder the magical door.
TOBIAS looks around to see if anyone will answer Angon. When no one does, he steps forward with a gulp. "You trace a symbol in the air... like this..."
End of turn!
Memories are a quality of intelligence - at least that is how I rule it. On 6d6, roll at/under your INT score. Let me know what you get.
Derek Daniels rolled 1, 3, 2, 3, 6, 1 on 6d6 for a total of 16
With an INT of 14, that doesn't make it. Were you trying to open the door, or merely demonstrating it to Angon?
Mainly demonstrating to Angon. If she's close enough to the wall, he probably would try to do both at the same time.
Please choose which one you're doing. You can be at the wall, or doing it away from the wall.
Ok, I'll be away from the wall.
Angone watches you, a puzzled look on her face. She asks you to repeat it.
"I don't recognize that symbol. Are you sure?" she asks. "How do you know about this? Do you see the symbol somewhere?"
TOBIAS frowns. "Well, something like that," he says. "The wall might help you if you go and listen to it."
Angon gets a startled look on her face. "Listen? What do you mean? Do you hear something?"
Tobias blinks in surprise. "Well, sure, haven't you heard the whispering? I thought that anyone what could cast spells could hear it..." He walks over close by the wall again, placing his hand on it and listening for the whispering voice...
GRAIAN joins him, he has heard whispeerings before, but did not relate them to this wall. He listens intently.
Angon bends over and listens to the wall very carefully. She closes her eyes and the time slowly passes by... and then she opens her eyes and shakes her head. "TOBIAS, I hear nothing."
GRAIAN, you have the same result as well.
TOBIAS still has his hand on the wall, his eyes closed. "I do. But it's soft now... so soft... like it's someplace else, or doing something else." He opens his eyes, looks at Angon and shrugs. "Maybe it's with Sinyr and the others?" he offers.
"It ... what is this "it" you're talking about, TOBIAS?" Angon says. She straightens up and steps away from the wall.
TOBIAS: "The voice. The whispering voice. I've heard it at different places around in here, but it always seems like it's calling out... like it wants you to follow it, you know?"
Angon purses her lips and shakes her head. "TOBIAS, I don't hear the voice."
She turns to GRAIAN and says something in Elven to him.
ATACIUS comes out of the secret room tired, dusty and sweaty. "Hey, now that we cleared it, we need to..." he says to, to the statues. He sighs, pick up his satchels and leave the room, pass the fungus garden and out to the hallway.
"By the Light and the Foam and the hairy feet of my grand-grand-grandfather, why are you messing with that wall!?!?" he exclaims.
When he sees TAKASHI heading out, he says "There goes a sane person, wait for me friend!" as he hurries his way.
TAKASHI turns his head as ATACIUS calls his name, smiles, and waits for his friend to follow.
TAKASHI: "Too much sorcery in this place! It almost defies all the laws of nature, even its own existence!"
CALLIN will stay to protect TOBAIS and GRAIAN should they manage to open that cursed wall.
GRAIAN, TOBIAS and CALLIN are with Angon, looking at the western wall that the PCs went through on their previous adventure with Sir Flinigan. It is possible that the now missing Sinyr and Seadreamer elves have gone through it somehow.
Angon has just said something to GRAIAN in Elven.
GRAIAN replies to Angon in Elven.
GRAIAN: "Tobias, we do not hear anything. When have you heard it, are there times when it is stronger?"
"You don't?" Tobias says, frowning. "Well, the last time, it was when I was leaving that room with the fountain, and I was looking at Sinyr who was over by the wall. It was pretty strong then. Also, when I traced the symbol what opened the door to this place, when we first went in, I heard the voice pretty strong then too."
Angon frowns. "Sinyr has stumbled onto something then, and she has taken a foolish path. GRAIAN, someone must stay here to see if she returns, but we must push on. Are there other places you wish to explore in this accursed place?
TOBIAS looks up at GRAIAN, eyes wide. "Do you still remember how to trace that symbol on the wall? Shouldn't we go in and get them back if they went in there?"
CALLIN: "Is there a way to see if they have opened the door via magical means? Similar to how the Littleling would know if someone recently picked a lock?"
TAKASHI, ATACIUS and the two other Foamfollower elves - Rinyl and Silinar - are heading back to the entrance room to see if the missing elves went that way.
END OF TURN!
You move out of the hallway, back into the bell-shaped hallway, through the north door there into the entrance room. Yannon's body remains there, untouched.
None of the doors in the bell-shaped hallway or main entrance room were open. There is no light or sound coming from the archway to the NE in the main entrance room.
What will you do?
TAKASHI: "I don't see or hear them anywhere, ATACIUS. SHould we head back with the rest of the group?
ATACIUS: "Alright then." says the littleling with a resigned voice. "But I rather go back to Appleton than down there. We warned those elfs!" he adds as he opens his waterskin and drink some cider.
Rinyl points to the archway to the north. "We've not been there. Could they have gone further in, to where we can't see them?"
ATACIUS almost chokes with his drink at the elf's suggestion. "Really? Are you saying we go looking for them?" asks the littleling wiping his mouth with the back of the sleeve and putting away the waterskin.
Silinar laughs at ATACIUS and smacks him on the back. "Easy there, little one." she says. "Too strong of drink?"
"Well.. yes, that is what Angon told us to do." Rinyl answers. "Although they might be a bit prickly, they are crew and kin."
ATACIUS: "Ha, ha, very funny." he says in a mocking tone. "I don't like the idea to go looking for them. TAKASHI, what do you think?"
TAKASHI: "In a place such as this, I fear that splitting us up into smaller groups is a recipe for disaster. Still, ATACIUS, do you want to briefly see what is to the North? My eyesight is not as good as yours in these conditions."
"I'll go with you!" Silinar says.
"As will I!" says Rinyl. They suggest that TAKASHI move far to the south side of the entrance room, so that their darkvision will work better going forward.
ATACIUS: "All right, all right." says the littleling not totally convinced. "TAKASHI, light a torch and follow a a distance. Me and the elfs will explore forward, as quietly as possible. If we run into trouble, you'll know."
With that he takes out his shortsword and moves towards the archway on the North wall, motioning the elfs to follow.
TAKASHI follows so as to not disrupt their vision.
CALLIN, GRAIAN and Angon
Ten minutes have passed as GRAIAN and Angon have spoken in Elven to each other and in human-tongue to TOBIAS.
TOBIAS shrugs at CALLIN. "I dunno," he says, "I've read about a spell what's supposed to let you know if there's any magic going on around you, but I don't know how to do it."
GRAIAN, in common, "I will try to remember the symbol, but this is a little risky."
rolled 6, 4, 6, 2, 6, 2 on 6d6 for a total of 26 - not even close :(
The question is... did you trace it in the air, similar to what TOBIAS did, or did you trace it on the wall. What was your intent?
Trace in the air, the idea was to see if it meant anything to anyone, if not the question would be whether we try the wall
GRAIAN traces the symbol, which looks different from what TOBIAS drew. Angon shakes her head. "I don't like this.... tracing arcane symbols onto a possible magical door, or worse, tracing the wrong symbol onto that door, might bring bad results."
Turn 17 is starting now. It has been twenty minutes and the others have not returned. Nothing has happened at the wall you are standing in front of.
GRAIAN "Does this mean anything to you, Tobias does it jog any memory of what Sir Flinigan drew?"
TOBIAS: "That last one you drew kind of reminded me of a rooster. We could try tracing it on the wall like Sir Flinigan did I suppose, but we should probably wait until ATACIUS and TAKASHI get back, or they might get stuck out here alone..."
CALLIN: "Are we sure we wish to open such a vile place to the world again? If we do open that door, are we sure it will close back up? There are vile things down there, that perhaps we should not expose upon the world. Are we sure they went that way?"
TOBIAS looks at the wall, frowning. "I don't think we can be sure... anything could be in there, and they could be stuck in it, or we might let something else out..." Looking back up at CALLIN, he says, "But if TAKASHI and ATACIUS don't find them back the way we came, where else could they be?"
TOBIAS looks back down the hallway, raising his lantern and pushing some hair back from his face with his other hand. "They've been gone a long time... should we go look for them?"
GRAIAN: "We should head back up this corridor and into the bell room and wait for them there, we shouldn't go wandering off too much. Once we are all back together we can decide what to do, maybe they have found something. I am not too keen to work on this wall if we are not sure what the symbol is, there are likely to be other ways into the lower level, based upon what we saw before."
ATACIUS, TAKASHI, Rinyl and Silinar
The hallway you are in is roughly an isosceles trapezoid (with the larger side opposite you) that curves slightly concave. You are coming in the SE corner of the room. There is a door in the north wall/NE corner that is closed - black and similar in style to the others. There is a small archway/hallway in the west wall/NW corner of the room.
The walls have golden symbols that are either etched or painted in such a way that they appear etched. Rinyl stares at one for awhile, then sucks in his breath. "I swear, I saw that symbol move!" he hisses.
There is a large black pillar that is in the middle of this hallway. It is square, of black marble, but none of the elves see anything similar to the other pillar you've encountered before.
ATACIUS: Keeping close to the South wall, staying away from the pillar, he'll navigate the room to the archway in the NW. "Quiet!" he hisses back to Rinyl and motion them to folllow him.
Having already drawn their short swords, both elves cautiously follow ATACIUS.
The corridor beyond the archway is narrow. Where the room you are in is roughly 40x30, the corridor beyond is 5 to 7 feet wide. It curves concave from the corner you are in (think of that as the SE point of the curve) to the north then southwest, vanishing into darkness beyond your darkvision. You hear nothing.
Does the wall of this narrow corridor has the same symbols the rest of the room has?
No, only in the trapezoidal room.
ATACIUS advances down the corridor, looking back now and then to make sure the elfs folllow.
TAKASHI will keep pace with the group, making sure to keep the feet of his friends at the edge of the light.
West down the hallway - 10 feet, 20 feet, 30 feet, 40 feet, 50 feet and at 60 feet down, the corridor makes a sharp 90 degree left. It goes ten feet, makes another hard left and now you're heading east, with the same curve following the other hallway. You think this hallway may have either another corner or an end, as you catch a faint glimpse of a wall to the east at the edge of your vision.
ATACIUS will keep advancing until he sees if it's a turn or a dead end.
You go about forty feet and it does dead end, but there is a door on the south wall in the SE corner. It is closed and you hear nothing behind it.
Turn 17 is starting now.
ATACIUS: "TAKASHI, come!" the littleling calls his friend in a hushed tone.
Rinyl and Silinar come up cautiously behind ATACIUS. "What do you think?" Silinar whispers quietly.
TAKASHI will advance towards ATACIUS' voice.
TAKASHI: "What have you found? This place seems to sprawl in every dimension! We have been away for quite a while - should we return to the others lest they think we found our demise?"
ATACIUS: "I agree. I rather keep exploring all together." he says looking from his friend to the elfs. "Let's go back." He looks into his satchel, takes a hard biscuit and nibbles through it on the way back.
TAKASHI nods in agreement.
TAKASHI: "There is strength in numbers, which our elven friends who decided to explore on their own might find out for themselves."
You all meet back up in the bell-shaped hallway. Turn 17 ends.
The party reunites in the bell-shaped hallway, to decide what to do next. There is no sign of Sinyr or the other Seadreamers.
(TOBIAS's lantern has 6 turns left of oil. TAKASHI's torch has 4 turns left.)
ATACIUS relays to the rest of the group their recent findings and asks GRAIAN: "Do you want to explore the newfound door or we´re heading back out with him?" as he point to the elf's wrapped corpse.
TOBIAS thumbs through the new book while he waits for the older folk to decide where they want to go.
GRAIAN: "If we can avoid trying to do anything with that wall, door whatever it is I think it would be best. Lead on Atacius, we will explore the rest of the path you went down, I am also interested in looking at these symbols on the wall. Angon?"
TAKASHI: "Whatever we do, it is safer if done together."
ATACIUS: "Alright then, let's go, but stay away from the black column!"
TAKASHI looks around, as if to search for the person to whom ATACIUS is talking.
ATACIUS leads you back into entrance room, and then through the archway to the north. You find yourself in another hallway or small connecting room - it is roughly an isosceles trapezoid (with the larger side opposite you) that curves slightly concave. You are coming in the SE corner of the room. There is a door in the north wall/NE corner that is closed - black and similar in style to the others. There is a small archway/hallway in the west wall/NW corner of the room. The walls have golden symbols that are either etched or painted in such a way that they appear etched. Rinyl makes a mutter under his breath and does everything he can to avoid looking at them.
TOBIAS walks about half way through the room and then suddenly says, "There! Now you can't tell me you don't hear that!" He looks at Angon and GRAIAN.
GRAIAN looks at Tobias then Angon, "Tobias, I don't hear anything, can you make out what is being said or where it is coming from?"
TOBIAS frowns slightly at GRAIAN with a strange look. "You still don't? It's so loud now, though! It's coming from all around. It's still pretty garbled up, but the words seem like ones... I could almost understand now..." He trails off, and appears to be listening.
ATACIUS leads you to that archway and through. The corridor beyond the archway is narrow. Where the room you are leaving is roughly 40x30, the corridor beyond is 5 to 7 feet wide. It curves concave from the corner you are in (think of that as the SE point of the curve) to the north then southwest, vanishing into darkness.
ATACIUS leads you 60 feet down, the corridor makes a sharp 90 degree left. It goes ten feet, makes another hard left and now you're heading east, with the same curve following the other hallway. You go about forty feet and it dead ends, but there is a door on the south wall in the SE corner. It is closed.
ATACIUS will open the door.
The door opens to a room that is shaped convex, curving east to south. You have come in on the NE corner of the North wall/East wall corner. There don't appear to be any other exits in this room. It has floor to ceiling bookcases, full of books, papers and what-not. Oddly enough, this room is dusty, musty and possibly moldy as well, the smell is pretty strong and someone behind ATACIUS sneezes from the smell coming from the room.
ATACIUS: "Bookworms, all yours." he says as steps to the side and make an exagerated mock of a reverence.
TOBIAS almost tramples ATACIUS in his scramble to get inside so he can start looking over the shelves.
TAKASHI: "This place is a veritable underground library. I wonder how much the Skalfier library would pay for these tomes, if suitable for the general public."
ATACIUS: "OR we could set up a library in Appleton and benefit from the incoming scholars..." wonders the littleling after TAKASHI's words. "Even better, we can make a deal with the guild..."
TAKASHI: "Appletone, a center of learning and civilization just outside of Skalfier. I wonder what Sir Flinnigan would have thought of that, eh TOBIAS?"
TOBIAS beams at TAKASHI, "I don't know, but it sounds great to me!"
CALLIN: " that does indeed sound wonderful, but I would make sure that the villagers would wish such a bolster of activity in their tiny village."
Angon walks in slowly, after telling Rinyl and Silinar to keep watch outside the door for the Seadreamers... or other things. She looks around, sneezing a time or two into her elbow, and looking at the titles. She casts a worried glance or two at TOBIAS.
After a few minutes of looking at the books and papers, it appears that these are more common books - fiction, some biographies, general subjects and poetry. The vast majority of books show signs of age and deterioration. Nothing about Ramathia jumps out at you. It would take an hour for everyone to thoroughly search the room.
What do you want to do?
TAKASHI: "Since we are hear to look for information, I suggest we search the books unless someone thinks otherwise. At least these books do not appear to reek of sorcery."
GRAIAN: "Yes we should look, we cannot afford to miss anything." He start to look through the volumes.
ATACIUS will search the walls for anything hidden while the rest look at the books.
CALLIN: " I agree as well. And CALLIN will help search the books as well.
TOBIAS's lantern requires a refill.
You have discovered that this is probably the "reject" section of the library. Most of the books here are damaged. The ones that are not are of odd topics or are fiction. Titles such as "A Codex of Wines & Spirits" by Bishop Bronzesmith; "Horticulture and Seasons: a Handbook" by John Baker; even "The Compendium of Awful Secrets" by Archpriestess Stelbanishia.
Rinyl and Silinar have kept diligent watch along the hallway and even walked back to the room with the symbols, but they have not seen nor heard Sinyr and the Seadreamers.
TOBIAS removes a pint of oil from his backpack and refills his lantern.
Did ATACIUS finds anything hidden in the room's walls?
Roll 6d6 (once per turn) and we'll see what comes up.
Gabriel Perez Gallardi rolled 1, 1, 5, 2, 5, 4 on 6d6
After an hour, you have found two secret compartments that appear to have held small items at one time, but they now appear to be empty.
TOBIAS looks over the books for a long time, but only winds up putting 2 of them in his backpack.
GRAIAN sighs dissapointedly, "I fear this is going to take a lot of time, there is nothing here and there is no other way in or out that has been found. I suggest we return to the door in the previous room and see where that leads. Angon, you, Rinyl, Silinar and I should start to search for secret doors as we move, I know it will slow us down a little but between the four of us we can cover a lot of ground, pity the other four are not here. I wonder if they found something?"
From a metagaming perspective, your elven abilities to feel secrets doesn't mean you have to move slower -- it's always "on". Now if you wish to actively search like the rest of the folks, that's fine. As you move, if you were to come near secrets, I would test for them and let you know if something happens - like with the "junk room" you found.
If you want to actively search, please let me know. I'll put you back in the symbol room, where you intended to look at the other door. I can retroactively do searches and apply results in the passageway leading back, if that was your intent.
I was thinking we would actively search, that gives us a 1/3 chance of finding anyting that was there and with 4 of us that seemed like good odds.
OK, it will take you 3 turns to get back to the symbol room. You find no secrets.
It is a long walk back to the symbol room/hallway, as the elves search carefully for secret doors, but do not find any.
Silinar and Rinyl have been patrolling the hallway, and have found nor heard anything. "Silent as the depths of the ocean..." Silinar sighs.
The door in the NE corner beckons...
TAKASHI: "That leaves the door to the northeast. We came here to find answers - perhaps they will be behind that door."
The Foamfollower elves grasp their swords/staffs and prepare.
CALLIN: " may the light shine upon us as we venture into the darkness" with that he will check the oil in his lantern, Bindi, and his weapons.
GRAIAN: :One moment I would like to take a closer look at these symbols, see if I know anything about them, Angon any thought?"
Angon nods to GRAIAN. "I can cast Read Magic and see if there is anything to them, while we look at them." she suggests.
GRAIAN nods in agreement, "That would be a good idea."
Angon takes a deep breath and smiles. "It won't be the first time I've jumped into murky waters, GRAIAN..." she says as she pulls out a scroll from her pack.
She reads the spell from the scroll, and it turns to ash in her fingers. Her eyes glowing, she studies the glyphs and symbols on the walls. She winces, then drops to her knees and screams in pain, her hands slapping her head.
"Agh! It's burning me from the inside!" she cries and then slumps over. Rinyl and Silinar rush over to her, alarmed. They examine her for a minute, lightly slapping her face and shaking her, then look at Bindi and CALLIN.
"She seems to sleep, or is in a coma... but we cannot rouse her!" Silinar says in a worried voice. "Can you help?"
CALLIN: will become Bindi and they will come to her side examining the Elf and beginning a prayer to the LIGHT.
As Silinar described, Angon seems to be in a deep sleep or coma. She cannot be roused from it.
GRAIAN: " We will need to take her back to the Temple, I have nothing that will help her."
ATACIUS takes a step back whe he sees Angon slump to the floor.
"We need to get out. Pick up the fallen and get out!" he says. "GRAIAN? It's not safe here."
TAKASHI: "I am beginning to think that trying to read someone else's arcane writings is not wise. This place does not like us here, but if we leave now, we leave with nothing to assuage the looming conflict."
Silinar and Rinyl carefully pick up Angon.
"Go find what is through that door, my friends." she says sadly. "We will take Angon to where Yannon's body is and stand watch over her. If something changes, one of us will come find you. May wind and sun guide you in this accursed place."
ATACIUS: "TOBIAS, please get closer with your lamp." he says motioning to the youngster as he moves closer to the door. First he'll carefully look at it, its lock/handle and frame. Then he'll proceed to look for traps, to finally open it if he's convinced there's nothing amiss with it.
The door is the same style of black door, painted surface, fancy hinges and door handle. There are no indications that this door is trapped and there is no sound on the other side of it.
It opens into a large room. From what you can tell (as the lantern takes away your darkvision) is that you are on the SE corner of an angled, L-shaped room. The leg goes from your position to the NW, and then heads N out of range of the light. In the middle of the room at the angle is a black column.
However, that is not what takes your breath away. This room puts all the other rooms to shame with the shelves and cabinets of books and papers. It probably could even challenge the library at the Merchants' Guild in Skalfier in volume. Floor to ceiling, stuffed full, with every available inch of room holding a tome. You also have to blink twice, because it's either a trick of your imagination, or this room disobeys the laws of reality, because it seems "taller" than the other rooms, with the ceilings higher than the room you are standing in. But surely that's just a trick of lighting... or is it?
Tables, reading chairs and desks are scattered in the middle, with writing instruments, a couple of magnifying glasses and parchments, papers and open books laying on them.
END OF TURN
ATACIUS has just opened the dreaded NE door to reveal a library room that could put the Merchants' Guild library to the test.
It is an angled, L-shaped room. The leg goes from your position to the NW, and then heads N out of range of the light. In the middle of the room at the angle is a black column.
The room has floor to ceiling shelves and cabinets of books and papers. They are stuffed full, with every available inch of room holding a tome. Tables, reading chairs and desks are scattered in the middle, with writing instruments, a couple of magnifying glasses and parchments, papers and open books laying on them.
It takes a minute for TOBIAS to pick his jaw up off the floor. "Wow...!"
ATACIUS will meassure, in paces, how far are the black columns from the door and wall.
The walls are not straight, the inner angle of the L is actually a convex curve and the "south" wall of the lower leg is concave as well, albiet less deep. The column roughly 15 feet from the outer angle of the L and about 10 feet from the inner angle/curve.
X marks where you came in at.
Since you've moved into the room, you can now see the northern leg of the "L" - there are two doors, one in the NW corner of the leg, one in the NE corner of the leg. They are closed.
This column looks similar to the column in the other library/reference room, with roiling mist inside.
Upon seeing another column, TAKASHI exclaims "DON'T TOUCH THE COLUMN!"
Then, more quietly, he continues.
TAKASHI: "Surely there must be something of what we seek here. Perhaps if we all take one wall section at a time, we can see if there are any books on Ramathia ot the Elven homelands."
CALLIN: "I certainly hope so! Our adventuring party is dwindling fast!" CALLIN will help look through the books.
GRAIAN: " Yes it is, I am concerned about Angon, but I am sure she would not want us to abandon the quest to take her back, there is too much at stake. However, we shold not leave her in that state too long, if we can help it. Be careful looking at these book, remember what happened to me when reading the scrolls. Let us do a quick look through first and see if we can find anything."
ATACIUS: "I wonder if these two columns are related or connected in some way..." he wonders aloud. After a moment he shrugs, dismissing that thought and go check the doors to the North.
On his way to picking out a section to examine, TOBIAS stops by the desks and picks up one of the magnifying glasses. He looks it over, then holds it up to his eye, bringing it forward and back from his face with his arm a few times, and finally slips it into one of his pockets. Then he peruses the parchments and open books lying on the tables for a bit.
ATACIUS sees TOBIAS pick the magnifying glass and thinks "Clever kid! That would come handy when I work with my tools..."
On his way to the North doors he scoops the other glass from the table and put it in his satchel.
During this turn of searching:
TAKASHI spies a section where all the books seem to be similar, as if they are volumes of a set. Upon closer examination, he sees that it is huge collection of The Merchant's Annals. Pre-Doom in origin, these were famous books put out by the various cities and their Merchants Guilds, listing a lot of information on the cities, especially geared towards merchants and travelers. The volumes cover famous cities such as Regium, Greyrock, Richinia and Irecia...
... and Ramathia!
ATACIUS, these two doors look identical to the other doors in this level. Both are closed. You hear nothing behind the NE door, behind the NW door, you hear a strange, dry creaking.
Like wooden gears? Is it uniform and continuous?
Like dry wood being rubbed against another piece of dry wood. It's not uniform or continuous, it does happen often enough to hear it. If you want more info, make a Hearing check.
Gabriel Perez Gallardi rolled 1d100 for a total of 18
Yay! Just my Hear Noise score!
(This will end your actions for this turn.)
You hear that there are several sources of this noise, but they sound roughly the same. And the sources seem to move a bit. None come close to the door.
(CALLIN, GRAIAN and TOBIAS - it's not that you didn't find anything of interest, but you found nothing that relates specifically to Ramathia. I'm checking each turn that you search. There are that many books here! A rough guess is that it would take hours to view all of the titles and papers here just to see which have the name Ramathia in them.)
(ATACIUS and TOBIAS - please add the magnifying glass to your inventory. They are gorgeous, well-made instruments.)
TAKASHI: "I think I may have found what we are looking for, my friends! Look at this set of books here - Merchant's Annals from before the Doom, and they mention Ramathia!"
CALLIN: "by the LIGHT that is good news. Well done TAKASHI! GRAIAN, is this what the elves will need to allow us to leave this cursed place?"
(With Chris's quiet, I feel comfortable ruling that GRAIAN is so involved in looking for books that he might have missed your questions. Would you like to search another turn?)
TAKASHI will remove the Merchant's Annals from the shelves, and carefully stack them on the floow. He will then search another turn to see what he can find.
CALLIN will follow TAKASHI lead, and spend another round searching as well.
ATACIUS, for this turn (which will now be 36), you can search as well, and you too TOBIAS. Assuming you all say Yes, I'll do the check on what you find.)
ATACIUS will open the silent door and take a peek.
TOBIAS says, "Way to go, TAKASHI! Maybe those other elfs will be happy, now. I just want to check over here a little longer..."
TAKASHI, unfortunately, nothing of interest jumps out at you.
CALLIN, for whatever reason that you decided, you picked up a very old and tattered looking book. Bound in worn and cracked leather, the title almost illegible, but it says "The City's Legacy" The frontpiece has a stylized map of an island and a city that nearly covers the entire island. The title page says "The City's Legacy - a history of the ancient city of Ramathia" written by what seems to be an elven name: Calimo Larethaen. Flipping through, it seems to be a series of essays on the city, with the first essay having an interesting title - "The Founding - a Lost Story"
TOBIAS, you find an interesting tome, deep burgundy cover with silver foil for the spine title and cover, titled "Two Towers of the Darkness" - the book seems to be a series of essays on the Mage’s Guild history.
ATACIUS, you open the door to a small, (American) football-shaped room. There is a door directly across from you to the east, a door to the NE and a door to the SE. All are closed. The room seems to be some sort of small gallery, with portraits of men and women, as well as vistas of various landscapes. There seem to be small plaques underneath each painting.
GRAIAN appears to be very quiet, perusing the tomes, lost in thought.
TAKASHI grunts as his search turns up nothing more of interest.
TAKASHI: "What have you found there, ATACIUS? ANything of interest that won't try and kill us?"
ATACIUS: It's a room with paintings and guess what? More doors! Worth exploring though." he responds as he motion his friend to come over.
TAKASHI will heed ATACIUS' call, and enter the football shaped room.
TAKASHI: "Doors, doors, and more doors! And what do you make of these paintings?"
TAKASHI will examine the paintings, and plaques underneath (if he can read them).
ATACIUS will also look behind the paintings.
TAKASHI - the names and portraits are all of humans, and from the plaques, you learn that these are mages from one to two hundred years ago. Guild Masters, experts, sages. The most prominent portrait is of a male mage, with black hair and a slightly babyish, sallow face, named Elmanstyr Shalesh. The landscapes are labeled of places across the lands, prominent ducal capitols, royal lands and beautiful vistas.
ATACIUS - somehow, frustratinginly, the frames are secured directly to the smooth marble walls. There doesn't seem to be any screws or hangers visible.
TAKASHI: "Perhaps this place was once the headquarters for a guild of knowledge and arcane research. From the looks of it, this Elmanstyr appears to be one of the more prominent members."
GRAIAN looks up from his search, the words of the others penetrating his deep thought, "You have found something? Finally, maybe we can put an end to the madness that is befalling my kin."
CALLIN: "I have fount a tomb on the history of Ramathia. It seems to be written by an elf as well. Have a look. "CALLIN says bringing the book over to GRIAIAN.
GRAIAN takes the book and starts to look through it.
GRAIAN - the book is written in an old fashioned method, one that speaks to Elven meter, which traces back to songs and stories told on ships in the old Elven bardic style. The first essay, in a quick glance, implies that the Elves founded Ramathia before they made contact with the enslaved humans and fought against the Dark Ones! The author asserts that sages in Ramathia knew of ancient elven caverns and grottos that held remnants of "The Founding" but the author only saw ruins that bore little indication of who built them. He surmises that a well-financed expedition may lead to more answers.
Another essay explains how the Elves allowed the humans to inhabit the island and city, eventually ceding control of the same to Men. This was during the "Doldrums" when elves seemed to be unable to have children and their race dwindled in size and vitality. Most elves left Ramathia and their buildings were converted or razed over the millenia after.
GRAIAN: "Callin, this is great, there is much we need to verify but this does point to our home being in Ramathia. If there are more references that would be great. Where did you find this, we should look further?"
CALLIN, TOBIAS and GRAIAN - do you wish to search further?
ATACIUS, TAKASHI - do you wish to stay in the portrait room or ... ?
ATACIUS to TAKASHI: "There's a strange creaking noise through that door..." he says pointing the NW door across the library room. "It's like wooden gears or something. Maybe we can check it out or just see where those three doors lead."
TAKASHI: "Ok - you open the door and I'll stand ready with sword in hand, just in case the noise is something alive and hungry."
ATACIUS will slowly open the NW door.
While CALLIN, GRAIAN, TOBIAS and Bindi explore the library room, ATACIUS and TAKASHI have let curiousity get the better of them as they explore the two doors in the NE and NW corners of the same room. Having looked at a gallery to the NE, they've now opened the door to the NW, to confront 5 walking, armored skeletons in a roughly rectangular room. There's no time for looking around to see what else is there, as each of the skeletons draws two swords, which burst into flame, or seethe with icy tendrils!
COMBAT ROUND 1
Takashi - "ATACIUS, let them come to us and we can use the doorway as a choke point to limit their numbers!" TAKASHI will attack the first skeleton that engages him, but will not move forward into the room.
Atacius - Will atempt to close the door before the skeletons reach it.
Callin - assuming he can see the light erupting from the flame swords.. CALLIN will gasp.."by the LIGHT!" Then draw his hammer and shield and head to aid TAKASHI and ATACIUS.
Graian - Hearing Callin's cry GRAIAN will follow him, staff in hand.
Tobias - Hears the commotion and scampers over to the area by the door, trying to see what he can through the people that are in front of him.
Bindi - Bindi will follow CALLIN's example and prepare her club and shield. "The LIGHT take you!" she calls out, but narrowly avoids hitting TOBIAS in the head with her club as she moves forward.
PCs: Michael S (chgowiz) rolled 1d6 for a total of 4
Monsters: Michael S (chgowiz) rolled 1d6 for a total of 5
As the group in the library hear the expressions of alarm from ATACIUS and TAKASHI, they move towards the NW door. CALLIN bellows a warcry and Bindi echoes it.
Just as the two lead skeletons reach the door, their raised swords blazing or steaming icy vapor, ATACIUS slams the door on them! Everyone is at the door, watching it, waiting... and waiting...
END OF ROUND
COMBAT ROUND 2
... and waiting...
Takashi - "I don't know how long that door will hold back the undead! We can all ready ourselves here in case they break through." TAKASHI will stand ready to attack any skeleton that manages to break through the door.
Atacius - "Do you really want to open it?" he asks unsheathing his blade.
Callin - "Skeletons! Bindi, ready your holy symbol. By the light we will drive them back!" CALLIN will turn undead should we open the door. (I assume it only works line of sight of the holy symbol?) (Correct)
Graian - "I am not sure about these, I have little that will help directly."
Tobias - Stands behind the others, nervously shifting his weight from one foot to the other, and back again. "You have a plan, right? You've fought things with swords like that before?"
Bindi - Raises her holy symbol too... after dropping her club.
There is some ambiguity here... are you going to wait to see what the skeletons do, or open the door?
I think we are all preparing ourselves should the skeletons break down the door. Readying our actions, perhaps?
I'm OK with that... does everyone else concur?
Another minute is spent, with ATACIUS's hand on the door and the rest of the party ready to attack. Nothing happens... except that soon, you all now hear the dry creaking that ATACIUS had heard.
END OF ROUND
COMBAT ROUND 3
Standoff! The party on one side of the door - a group of skeletons with flaming/icy swords on the other - and neither is making the next move. (NOTE: Feel free to discuss - there's no penalty in time to discuss options here or in OOC.)
Takashi - "Now that we're all ready, let's try and knock these skeletons down quickly! Atacius, NOW!" TAKASHI will ready his sword and wait for ATACIUS to open the door. Once open, he will hold his position and wait for the skeletons to approach him, using the doorway as a chokepoint.
Atacius - Will ready an oil grenade and open the door on command
Callin - (copying from OOC and Round 2) CALLIN is always ready to fight some undead!!! CALLIN will turn undead should we open the door.
Graian - Will ready his staff, kepping out of the immediate line of fire but ready if any come through the initial melee
Tobias - will stand clear of the combat, but will try to hold his lantern high enough and at a good angle to illuminate the skeletons or whatever else is in the room when the door is opened.
Bindi - Stands ready with her holy symbol to assist CALLIN.
ATACIUS opens the door and begins to dig through his pack to make an oil grenade (It will be ready next turn.)
The skeletons, having moved back around the room, once again unsheath their two swords, one bursting into flames, one becoming wreathed with vapor from the chill of the blade.
CALLIN raises his holy symbol and calls out in a clear voice for the undead to turn away! His faith is strong and all five move away from him, standing next to the west wall of the room away from him.
Bindi lets out a cheer "Yay, Callin! The Light is strong in you!"
TAKASHI looks appreciatively at CALLIN after his demonstration of faith.
TAKASHI: "Well done, brother! If only all foes of darkness could be dealt with so expeditiously."
A few moments later, five piles of smashed bones lie on the floor of this room. Once they are destroyed, the swords cease flaming or icing and crumble into piles of rusted iron.
Looking around this room, you see that it is another smaller reading area. There are piles of books next to several chairs that appear to be intact. The south wall has a door, closed. In the NW corner of the room are four ornate boxes stacked on top of each other.
END OF COMBAT!
Turn 38 and 39
Turn 38 is a rest turn. Turn 39 finds you ready to explore the reading room, or go back to the library room and continue your search for books on Ramathia or... ?
What would you like to do?
TAKASHI: "Look, more books! These people really liked books. As for me, those four stacked ornate boxes look very interesting indeed."
CALLIN: "books and necromancy. Quite an interesting place indeed! I do hope that we find what we need so we can leave this cursed place" CALLIN will then head to Bindi. "How are you holding up Bindi? You are showing your strength in the Light! I am beyond proud of you. I just want to ensure you are holding up against the onslaught of darkness."
"Well, it IS a library, after all...", TOBIAS mumbles as he walks into the room holding forth his lantern. Walking over by one of the chairs, he bends over to poke around in the piles of books.
ATACIUS will go check the door on the South wall.
GRAIAN will start to examine the books.
Bindi smiles hugely at CALLIN with wide eyes. "I am fine! That was amazing! You show the power of the Light so well!"
Between GRAIAN and TOBIAS, it quickly becomes evident that the books in the sitting room are of similar type as what was in the large room you came from.
TOBIAS, you find several volumes of what appears to be a set of books on the Kings of the Lands of Men. You find vols. 18, 20, 23 and 24.
"Kings? Who cares about that stuff?", thinks TOBIAS.
GRAIAN, you find a lurid red-covered book with the title "THE DIVIDED SOLDIER" in bold, brass foil on the cover.
ATACIUS, the door is similar to others on this floor and no traps appear visible on it. You hear a strange sliding? slithering? sound beyond.
TAKASHI, the boxes appear to have simple lids to them, and you don't see any locks on the lids.
TAKASHI will open the lid on the top box, carefully.
TAKASHI - inside is another box, but this one is much more ornate. The box is made of a glossy black material. There is a gold inlay, of some sort of crest or design, on the surface of the box.
TAKASHI: "Do any of you recognize the crest on this black, ornate box? It looks quite expensive..."
GRAIAN looks up from the book and comes over to Takashi, peering into the box he looks a little excited, "Why, that is the symbol of the Old Mages Guild. UI guess not a surprise really but still good to see."
TAKASHI: "Would you like to open the box, GRAIAN? It seems that the mage's guild did not approve of others without their power fiddling around with their stuff. I'll investiage these other boxes."
TAKASHI will open the three other boxes underneath the opened box.
CALLIN: "I only do my part to shine the LIGHT upon the world Bindi. All of us through our good deeds, and our drive to stand against the darkness. That is the true power of the LIGHT. It allows us to all stand together, protect one another and call ourselves friends. Now let us help GRAIAN find what he is looking g for!"
"Do you want me to stay here or go back to the room of books, CALLIN?" Bindi asks. She peeks to see what TOBIAS is doing.
CALLIN: smiles at Bindi. "Perhaps you can assist TOBIAS as he researches."
"TOBIAS?" Bindi asks the young man in a shy voice, almost dropping her pack in her nervousness. "Do... you want to search the library room more, or here?"
TOBIAS looks at Bindi and shrugs. "All I've seen in here is some boring books about Kings and stuff. I'm ready to look someplace new!" He leads Bindi over to the south door and asks ATACIUS, "What's behind that door, do you think?"
ATACIUS: "Oh, nothing good for sure. But I got it covered, you just go... search..." as he gives the shoo shoo gesture with both hands and a wink.
There's no sounds coming from the ordinary door, which looks like all the other black doors in this level of the dungeon. It doesn't appear trapped.
No more slithering/sliding sounds?
ATACIUS will crack open the door.
This room is oddly shaped - a straight wall directly to the east that is straight N/S. The south wall runs E/W (with a slight convex curve) for about ten feet, then turns NW for about thirty feet, with a door in the middle of the wall. The wall then turns NE for about ten feet, with another door in the middle, then a small connecting wall back to your door.
The room is full of shelves of papers, parchments and scrolls, This room looks much messier than the other rooms, with the exception of perhaps the scriptorium or junk room. There are a couple of leather cases, stuffed with scrolls and papers.
What catches your eye is an odd disturbance in the middle of the room. It's almost as if a small two to four foot roughly circular area of the floor is "boiling".
ATACIUS will close the door. "Ahem, emh, guys part of the floor in there is boiling..."
"You looked at all the shelves?" Bindi asks, a bit doubtful in her voice and look. "It seems very important to Master GRAIAN that we find something to prevent... " and her voice drops to a whisper. ".. war between us and elves."
And on that note, we end the turn (*and* the year!)
TOBIAS: "Ok then, where would you like to look?" TOBIAS looks around, and points to a cabinet that catches his attention. "What about in there?"
Bindi takes TOBIAS by the arm and they go to the cabinet in the main library room. Carefully, she opens it, but somehow, she causes an avalance of books to fall from it! She shrieks as a couple hit her head and both have to step out of the way.
Grinning from embarassment and a bit of rueful pain, Bindi bends down and picks up a book from the pile with a brown cover and a large golden globe. The title says "The Golden Lands". Flipping through it, it seems to be an overview of the various Duchies, lands and important places. There are a couple of chapters titled "The Dark and Dangerous Deeps" and "The Mysteries of the Elves." It was written over one hundred years ago.
TOBIAS snorts in amusement as the books come raining down, then smiles at Bindi. "Are you ok?" Looking at the pages of the book she's holding he asks, "Mysteries of the Elves? What do you think that means?"
CALLIN: smiles at the two kids as they dodge the avalanche of books. The LIGHT does indeed shine even down in this vile darkness if you only know where to look, CALLIN muses. He then heads to join TAKASHI. "Quite the tome you have found. The craftsmanship is something g to behold. Does it have any answers for us?"
(* TAKASHI has found another ornate box inside the top box, is that what you mean? *)
Yes that is what I meant :)
BINDI shrugs, rubbing a knot on her head with one hand while flipping through the tome with the other. A passage catches both your eyes:
"It is said that much has been lost of the first contacts between Men and Elves, and it is also true that despite their longer lives, the Elves do not know much of their homelands. The warfare that the Elves encountered upon coming to our Lands and encountering the vile Dark Ones cost them dearly, especially in the loss of much of what the Elves kept and remembered prior to their Landing. Their oldest cities - Acoer and Cricoer, have little remaining from their founding two millenia ago. It is rumored among the sages that their first city, Ricoer (renamed to Ramathia when it was ceded to the humans in 112YK), may have evidence of their lands, but instead of digging beneath the great mountain of the Ramathia island, the Elves have instead settled on their Searches and Conclaves which send ships out into the vast oceans. The ones that do return bear nothing to help them find from where they came."
BINDI looks at TOBIAS with wide eyes. "What do you think that means?" she asks.
"I don't know," says TOBIAS, "but those 'Dark Ones' sound scary... I'll bet they're powerful! Hey, wait minute... Ramathia... isn't that what some of those other elfs said they were looking for stuff about before? We should show this to GRAIAN, maybe it will help."
TOBIAS leads Bindi off to find Master Graian (@Chris)
TAKASHI - The second box contains a delicate instrument. It seems to be a small globe, inlaid with precious gems, surrounded by ten arms of copper and silver that have stones of their own. The inlays and stones are of serpentine, turquoise and jasper. There seems to be a complex set of gears that the arms are attached to.
The third and fourth boxes are quite heavy, and they hold hundreds, if not thousands of silver crowns, with a few gold crowns here and there.
TAKASHI: "A princely sum of silver! And this instrument looks as if it would fetch quite a sum, if we could find the right buyer. I wonder...."
TAKASHI will try and find a crank or some other device that would cause the machine to go into motion.
Nothing obvious that seems to serve as a crank. The workmanship is something that you've never seen before, it's quite extraordinary.
GRAIAN will examine the box more closely before opening it
GRAIAN - aside from the gorgeous dark wood that is very smooth and shellacked, and the intricate gold inlay, the box lid appears to be unlocked and swing upwards. It appears quite ordinary in all other respects.
GRAIAN will open the box.
Just as GRAIAN is opening the box, TOBIAS and BINDI walk up to him. "Master Graian! Bindi found something in there," TOBIAS says, gesturing towards a book that she's holding open, "that talks about Ramathia and the elfs, do you think it would help us with them? - Hey, what's that?" he adds, nodding at the box.
TAKASHI: "It appears that we have found a large cache of silver in these two boxes, what I guess may be some sort of mechanical celestial aparatus, and this mysterious black box."
GRAIAN - The box opens smoothly and quietly. Inside is crushed velvet lining, puffed up to hold an object. That object is a large emerald-colored stone, shaped like a scarab. You are looking at it's back. There is a small hole in the scarab's head, probably for a chain or necklace or some sort of thread or holder.
Bindi's head whips around as she hears ATACIUS's words. Her eyes go wide. "What do you mean... the floor is boiling?"
ATACIUS: "Come child, take a look at it yourself!" he motions Bindi to approach the door.
Bindi casts a doubtful glance at CALLIN and follows behind ATACIUS. If he opens the door, she'll stay behind him and peek over his head, her hand clutching her club and shield very tightly.
GRAIAN looks at the co tents of the boxes and contents,,"This is quite a hoard if treasure and interesting items. Tobias, the books are proving to be quite a treasure too. This latest one certainly sounds like it indicates that Ramathia was linked to my forefathers. I should like to take a look at it, we may have enough to take back to the Conclave."
While most of the party are examing treasure or books in the scroll room, ATACIUS and Bindi are checking the door to the south, where ATACIUS says the floor is boiling beyond.
(NOTE: 48 turns is an 8 hour day. Considering the excitement and combat, you'll need to rest for the evening soon, either underground or up above. Just keep that in mind.)
TAKASHI: "The day is getting long, my friends. I believe that we have found a significant amount of new information, as well as these treasures. Should we head back with what we have now, or shall we tempt fate and sleep within these walls?"
GRAIAN: "I think we should take what we have and examine it more closely at Appleton."
ATACIUS: "Bindi, I guess we'd better leave this door closed." he says after hearing what TAKASHI and GRAIAN said.
TOBIAS wanders over to Atacius and Bindi. "The floor is boiling?" he snickers, "What does that even mean? It's hot in there?"
CALLIN: "we are here for GRAIAN. If he is ready to head back, I think we should head back as well. I am no fan of this place."
TOBIAS nods. "Yeah, let's get out of here. We've got a lot already to read... I mean, go through."
32nd Day of Fall, Evening
The six of you are able to haul the heavy boxes and books out of the library area back to the main entrance room, although with the heavy load, it takes a bit of time. In the main entrance, Silinar and Rinyl are still keeping watch over Angon, who is unchanged in her slumber. They look at you with a mixture of relief, curiosity and worry.
"It is good to see you sail back from the horizon, brother." Silinar calls out to GRAIAN. "And successful, from the smiles on your faces."
They agree to leave the underground, although Silinar says "We should not leave the area. Sinyr and the Seadreamers have not returned and I am loathe to leave. Knowing my shipmate as I do, Angon would have wanted the same thing. We should stay a few days, or until our supplies are low."
Once outside, you see that Apsuna and her flock have not returned, so she must be keeping to her promise of staying away for a few days. The sun is below the horizon and it is quickly darkening.
The elves move to make fires and Bindi goes to help them. Once built, they lay Angon carefully close by the fire and begin to break out rations.
CALLIN "Bindi and I could take Angon to the Temple to see high curate Maria. Her faith in the Light is a raging inferno compared to my flicker of candlelight"
"Take our first to a den of crazies?!" Rinyl bursts out, and then catches his mouth in horror and embarrassment. He ducks down quietly while Silinar pats his shoulder and looks apologetically to CALLIN.
"Apologies, CALLIN.. and Bindi. Most elves are deeply sceptical of humans and their worship of religions, although tolerant. Most... as you've seen, some are outright hostile, like the Seadreamers. My brother here... and I... it has been a very troubling and painful Search. Please forgive him. I know you mean well, and I've seen you manifest a power that I cannot explain. Although Sinyr is the bottom-end of the fish's tail, she would be able to tell a great deal of what is going on with Angon. I would rather we wait for their return. It is the way of Searches, we do not want to leave our fallen or missing behind." She smiles haltingly.
TAKASHI: "A noble and proper sentiment, Rinyl. Honoring our fallen and missing brothers sets us apart from the bestials, and those among our races with bestial tendencies."
TAKASHI will help to make camp as comfortable as possible.
CALLIN: " nothing to apologize for. I wish nothing but the best for Angon, and if waiting for Sinyr is what is best then that is what we shall do. Should you wish us to take Angon to the Temple however, you need only ask." CALLIN bows his head to the elves each in turn.". Then CALLIN will help make camp.
TOBIAS approaches the elves with a book in his hand. "Silinar?", he asks. "Bindi found this down in one of the library rooms, I was wondering if... well, will it help you with what you're looking for?" He opens the book and points to the passage that he and Bindi had read before.
TAKASHI will point out the stack of books he found, the collection of Merchants' Annals.
TAKASHI: "These volumes detail cities pre-doom, including Ramathia. Perhaps there will be something of use to your cause."
Silinar raises an eyebrow and takes the proffered book. She begins to flip through it, a bit more excitedly as she reads more and more. Finally, she looks up at TOBIAS.
"Why, yes, boy, I think you've made quite an interesting..."
At that point, Angon sits straight up and SCREEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMS a long, loud, shrill shriek. She then slumps forward and sobs for a moment, gulping in huge breaths.
GRAIAN was approaching Silinar at the time, bring the DIVIDED RED SOLDIER with him, he stops as Angon screams.
ATACIUS might have wet his pants when Angon screamed.
TAKASHI is startled by Angon's cry, and exclaims, "By the pre-doom kings, what is that? Are you ok?"
Angon looks around, confused and unsure.
"Where... what... " she asks in a querulous voice and then she spots Silinar and Rynil, who are moving over to her.
She speaks in Elven to them, and they respond. (GRAIAN: She asked where they were and if all was well, they responded yes. She then asked how long she had been asleep, and they said a couple of hours.)
She takes a few breaths and seems to steady herself and then looks over at you all.
"I am... glad to be here. That was... foolish." she says slowly in the tongue of Men. "I am ... not sure what to say. That I was only stunned for awhile is fortunate."
She winces in remembered pain. "The symbols... they are of Chaosium, and, if I'm not mistaken, they also form a map of the Athenum! The entire structure seems to have been made in the shape of arcane symbols of Chaos."
ATACIUS: "No surprise there, it's been a pain to map the place."
Angon nods. "I suspect that somehow, Sinyr figured it out and has gone elsewhere - the other level that you all have mentioned before. It troubles me to think that, because it means that she is aligned in a direction that I cannot support or tolerate.
She shakes her head. "I wish I could tell you more, but the pain and wrongness of the symbols overcame my training and I lost myself for a bit. It will take time to recover."
She looks around. "I see we are outside. GRAIAN, were you successful in finding anything more?"
GRAIAN kneels beside Angon, " I am so glad you are back with us, I was a little worried. Yes I believe we have found something, several books relating to pre-Doom and indicating our original home was around here and Ramathia. There is probably more down there but we thought it best to come above ground and take what we have. Rest and we can go through the books more in the morning and see if we take these to the Conclave or search further. As for Synir, I do not like leaving any of us behind but she went on her own. When we went below it did seem like there may have been another way in, if Synir worked out the symbols she may have found the way, but seeing what it did to you I am not sure we should investigete further."
Angon smiles. "That is good news GRAIAN, the first bit of good news we've had since coming to this accursed place."
Angon lays back. "Yes, rest. We will wait for Sinyr and see what happens."
35th Day of Fall
Two days pass, with cool, but clear weather. As Angon rests and regains her strength, she thumbs through the books with the others, growing more excited with each reading.
"I believe that we ignored what was right under our noses!" she exclaims. "Even if Ricoer ... Ramathia, isn't the site of first landing, the fact that elves were there during the wars with the Dark Ones is enough to tell me that we should look there. I'm troubled that we might not find much, if the humans did cover up what was once there. Perhaps there are still libraries and places of learning there that we can find more. These other books speak of the Great Library of Ramathia and the colleges there for mages and scholars."
The elves grow more troubled as there is no sign of Sinyr. As your own supplies begin to run low, so to must their supplies be doing the same. Angon and the other Foamfollower elves finally call for a decision... stay or go.
"We cannot go where they went." Angon says. "If Sinyr found a way into other parts of the Athenum, it is due to her knowing something of Chaos, which none of us here seem to know." (when she says this, she shoots a wary look at TOBIAS for some reason, but continues on) "I do not know any reason for Sinyr to stay in this place, even if she did find something of value. She must eat, as too the others, and we've not seen them. I fear the worst. What say the rest of you?"
TAKASHI: "I am hesitant to leave anyone behind, though I do not wish to go deeper into the chaos we have already stumbled upon. GRAIAN, I will leave the decision to you and the rest of the elves. I will support your decision no matter what is may be."
GRAIAN: "I am reluctant to go back down and randomly wander in the hope of finding them. We can wait two more days before heading back, while not as comfortable as Appleton or Skalifer we can still study what we have found. Angon?"
TOBIAS will happily spend the 2 days resting since leaving the Athenum, and any rest days still to come, digging into the books he found there and reading as much as possible. He'll still spend part of each day trying to puzzle out how to open the book with the eyes.
Angon nods. "Sky and Sea protect us all. Even our foolish members of the Seadreamers."
36th Day of Fall
Another day has passed, and the weather remains clear, but crisp with the feel of coming Winter. In the southern stretches of the Lands of Men, Winter brings cool weather and (rarely) snow, which made the freakish snow storm that caused the avalanche in Skalfier all the more unusual.
There is time for Bindi to continue practicing her prayers and catechisms under CALLIN's watchful eye, for TAKASHI to get into an enjoyable sparring/training session with Silinar, who proves to be quite a skillful warrior, for ATACIUS to poke around the ruins above (although finding nothing of value, there are weird odds and ends that catch his eye), for TOBIAS to study his books and for GRAIAN to have long talks with Angon and Rinyl.
That is why the sudden appearance of Sinyr, Rulian and Hecil is a shock, as they come running full tilt out of the Athenum, the wall barely flickering with its magick before Sinyr pushes through. Rulian and Hecil both have their swords in their hand, and both have grievous wounds. The two drop to their hands and knees outside, gasping for air, while Sinyr leans on her staff, barely about stand.
Angon and the Foamfollowers jump up and run over to the Seadreamers to render aid. Rinyl and Silinar apply first aid to the injured, while Angon brings water for the three. Sinyr gulps down an entire waterskin and gasps her thanks to Angon.
After a time, Rinyl and Silinar stand.
"They will ... live." Silinar says tersely. "They look like they were savaged! I'm sure that Hecil will bear the scars for many a voyage."
"Where... is Yacano?" Angon asks gently and Sinyr visibly winces. She steadies herself on her staff and looks at Angon.
"Dead. He is dead." she says simply, in a hollow voice.
"Dead because he opened that accursed book!" Rulian bursts out angrily, groaning as he sits up. "That damned black book, with all those eyes and tentacles and the voice... "
Sinyr closes her eyes, but doesn't say anything.
"He walked up the stairs after we fought those ... things. Sinyr told him to stop, but he had to open it, and then... he burst into flame and melted! And the damned book howled!" Rulian continues and then lies down in obvious pain. "... and we didn't wait to see what else was going to happen."
Angon shakes her head. "Such madness and death in this accursed place." she whispers.
CALLIN: "Bindi, help me with the wounds" And with that CALLIN will go to the wounded Elves and Cure Light wounds attempting to heal the injuries.
When approaching Rulian, he gives CALLIN a doubtful look but nods in agreement to allow the priest to proceed with the binding and healing. Upon receiving the benefits of the prayer and healing, he falls into a sleep.
Hecil is another matter. He allows Bindi to bind his wounds but snaps at her when she attempts to start praying over him to heal him.
"Get away with your sorcery, witch! I don't want your mad shamanism affecting me! I've had enough with the arcane! " he says in a bitter voice. Bindi looks at CALLIN with a stricken look and moves away from the angry elf and back towards the priest.
"Why are they so angry? What did I do?" she says in a low, hurt voice. "I just wanted to help..."
CALLIN: pulls Bindi to the side and speaks in a low tone. "They fear the Light Bindi. I know it doesn't make sense to you, but our ways are foriegn to them. They see the Light the same way we view the Darkness in that tomb. They have their own ways. We should honor and respect them. We will always offer our services and skills to those in need, but it is up to them to accept it. Stand tall and be proud Bindi. Your actions were pure of heart, and following the path of the Light."
CALLIN then steps back toward Hecil "You are confused Hecil, neither Bindi nor myself are witches. That would requires the ability to control the arcane. Skills which we do not posses. We only offer our Faith in the Light as good will. If you not wish to accept the offering, that is your choice. May your wounds heal fast and without pain" CALLIN nods to the Elf. "Should you change your mind and wish us to offer our services you need but ask."
TAKASHI watches Hecil snap at Bindi, and CALLIN's response.
TAKASHI: "He speaks the truth, Hecil. I am no fan of sorcery, for reasons all to well illustrated below. However, CALLIN is a trusted brother who has brought all of us health in dire times of need, and asks nothing of us other than brotherhood. Let your blood water this glen, if you wish, but know that there are those among humankind who offer their hand to all those of good heart in their hour of need."
Hecil doesn't answer but waves CALLIN away and turns his back to the party, shivering (from anger? shock? Hard to tell).
Sinyr continues to hang on for dear life onto her staff, while casting looks at the hidden entrance-way. It has resealed itself and assumed its former concealed state of looking like an unusual portion of a ruined stone wall.
TOBIAS looks up from a book when Hecil begins to yell at Bindi, wincing a bit when he hears the words "sorcery" and "arcane". He glares at Hecil for a long time before going back to his books, pulling out the one with six eyes from his backpack. He peers at it intently, turning it over and over in his hands to look at it from all sides, as if trying to see something he might have overlooked before.
CALLIN: will nod to the Elf and respect his decision. He will turn to Sinyr. "Is there anything we can do for you. Are you injured? Do you need food or water?"
Sinyr doesn't respond to CALLIN. She walks in a stiff fashion to where her bedroll is and lies down. Every so often, she leans up and looks over at the wall where the entrance is.
GRAIAN watches the exchange and decides to let Sinyr and Hecil be, it is their decision. He is glad that Rulian accepted the help he was offered. Walking over to to Tobias, "I think you should leave that book alone for now, attempting to open it may not be wise. Let us gather with Angon and Sinyr, if she is up to it."
"At least I'm not too much of a coward to even try," TOBIAS says, with some heat in his voice and a hard look at Hecil. "At least I have courage."
CALLIN shakes his head sadly, but honors their choice. He instead returns to join Bindi and his friends. "GRAIAN. are we still planning on departing?"
Angon nods to GRAIAN and goes over to talk to Sinyr. She whispers to her for a minute and then Sinyr slowly gets up and walks over to GRAIAN. Her face is drawn and she looks exhausted. She says nothing, but simply looks at Angon, TOBIAS and GRAIAN.
Angon smiles to GRAIAN. "So, leader of the Search, what say you of our mission?"
GRAIAN: "I think we all need to rest and take a look at what we have. Tomorrow we return to Skalifer and then present our findings to the Conclave. Sinyr, I know we have had our differences, but I am truly sorry for your loss."
37th Day of Fall
The day dawns cloudy and almost cold. Bindi wakes up shivering, her teeth chattering. She yelps in pain as she accidentally drops her mug of hintea into the fire. After fishing it out with a stick, she ruefully wipes it down and refills her mug.
Angon and Sinyr walk over to GRAIAN and begin to go through the books that were found. Angon grows excited at reading "The City's Legacy" as it is written by an Elf. She also nods at what she sees in "The Golden Lands" and the "Merchant's Annal (983 YK) of Ramathia".
"Sinyr, there is a lot to read here, but simply on what we're reading right here, it's clear that Ramathia ... or Ricoer (she says the name with the Elven lilt of their language) is worthy of an expedition in Search."
Sinyr's face has not changed much with rest. Her face is haggard and her eyes are still sunken with dark rings around them.
"It would seem that your fishing trip has found something in the net after all, Searcher." she says in a low voice to GRAIAN. "I'm sure Shaiman will be pleased. Yes, it is time to return to present this information."
Angon beams at Sinyr and turns to GRAIAN. "What do you say, Searcher? Do we sail back and give everyone the good news?"
Silinar and Rinyl beam at the rest of you, as they hear the words of Angon.
"I will never be so happy as to see that damned Inn again." Rinyl says. "After spending time there in boredom, I will gladly trade a day of idle over spending another day near this accursed place. Are you ready too?!" he says.
GRAIAN: "Indeed let us pack up our things and go, There is much more to find here, we should discuss the possibility of returning and spending more time searching. Sinyr, I am interested in knowing where you went and how you got there, we spent some time searching for you."
Sinyr turns to face GRAIAN. Her eyes stare long into GRAIAN's, and she is quiet.
"I'm sure you are interested. Perhaps you'll find out if you return." she says. "Perhaps not."
TOBIAS' eyes narrow at Sinyr and her response.
She then turns and moves back to the Seadreamers, where they all quietly begin to pack. They do not speak to each other or the Foamfollowers. Their movements are slow and they seem in a daze. Every so often, Sinyr will stop and look at the section of wall where the entrance is.
Angon looks at GRAIAN and shakes her head, shrugging her shoulders.
"Whatever happened in that accursed place has left its scar on them, GRAIAN. Tah evath - let them go in peace. Perhaps the journey back will sooth their pains." Angon looks troubled, even as she says that.
She moves off to pack her belongings and gather the Seadreamers.
It is late morning by the time you all are gathered and ready to head off.
The elves perform a ceremony before leaving, in which they mourn the deaths of Yannon and Yacano. It is a song sung to the Sky and touching the forehead of Yannon. The Foamfollowers then gently take Yannon's wrapped body and put it on a horse to take back to Skalfier. Rinyl explains that the body will be taken out to sea and buried there.
"We came from the waves and we return to the waves. Yannon will rest in the Great Seas. Would that we could do the same for Yacano..." Rinyl's voice trails off and he looks at the Seadreamers.
TAKASHI: "Much death lies in that place, and another has been added. We released one from that accursed place, but another has taken its place."
Bindi smiles at you. "That's... beautiful to think about, in a way."
She realizes she said something awkward and apoligizes. "I don't mean that dying was... you know! Oh, I'm so sorry!"
TAKASHI pauses to think this over, wondering if there is some sort of balance of scales at work in the dungeon, but says nothing else of it.
TAKASHI: "Let's be on our way then, if all are ready."
Silinar, who has finished her preparations, nods in agreement. "Let's get the hell out of here."
CALLIN: Will say a quick prayer to the Light blessing those who travel with the group for safe journeys. "Yes let us be off then!"
TOBIAS approaches GRAIAN alone and whispers to him, "On the way back, could we stop by and pick up that chest what's hidden in the shed? We need to get it safe, and I think we might be able to use some of the coins to buy ink for our spell books while we're in the city."
GRAIAN thinks for a moment, "Angon, Sinyr and I need to go to the Conclave and let them know what we have found, so the rest of you could go via Appleton and pick up the chest, I can the meet you in town."
Angon looks at GRAIAN. "We can stop at this Appleton. If the Seadreamers don't wish to enter town, they may way for us? I do like apples myself, so getting a couple would be a welcome treat."
GRAIAN smiles at that, "Yes Angon apples would be a very welcome, normal treat right now. Come, let's go I think everyone is ready."
CALLIN: "Stopping in to Appleton is always a welcome treat!"
You set out to Appleton and the sun peeks through the clouds, gradually getting warm enough that Bindi stops shivering, throwing off her cloak (and promptly dropping it under the hooves of CALLIN's horse, forcing them to stop so she can pick it up.) As you near Appleton, you see a large number of black dots in the sky, with a larger black dot leading them. They seem to be flying in the direction of the Athenum.
The Seadreamers are quiet while riding, responding only with short answers, not rude, almost as if they are still in shock. They will not speak of what they saw while they were away, but the observant among you catch Sinry casting looks back behind her in the direction of the Athenum.
Upon reaching Appleton, the Foamfollowers are welcomed as warmly as they welcome the rest of you back. The Seadreamers even come with, staying huddled next to the horses, but Rinyl, Silinar and Angon all mingle with the villagers, accepting gifts of apples and cider. Angon munches happily on the apple, proclaiming that "There is little I have ever eaten from the sea or land as wonderful as an apple!" Many of the villagers beam in pleasure at the compliment.
Claudia and Bindi happily reunite and go off chatting and laughing. TOBIAS retrieves the chest he wanted to stop for. CALLIN has to spend a bit of time looking for the two girls, finally finding them in a storage barn, throwing rotten apples at each other. Bindi seems to have gotten the worse of it, leading the Foamfollowers to nickname her "Apple-scent".
You don't make it quite back to Skalfier before night fall, but the camping provides you an opportunity to better assess the treasure you've collected. There are about 4,000 old silver crowns, dating from about 150 years prior to the Doom. There are a few gold crowns as well, 143 is the total. The emerald-colored stone is a sealstone - the old seal of the Mage's Guild is on the bottom of the piece. GRAIAN recognizes it only from having studied the history of Men and magick, but this would be the first time he's seen the Guild symbol in other than old drawings. The instrument, GRAIAN can identify as an orrery. It looks like the piece tracks the movement of the Sun, as well as the Dawn Sisters, the objects that seem to never move in the sky, but can only be seen at dawn. It also tracks a couple of other objects in the sky, but GRAIAN doesn't recognize them.
38th Day of Fall
The next day dawns bright, clear and cold yet again. This time, Bindi slept very close to the fire, and only intervention by someone prevents her from stumbling into it as she wakes up. The midday sees you spying the hills and outlying villages of Skalfier. Many bright colors of the Duchy of Occidens (Yellow and Green) as well as the town of Skalfier (Blue and Yellow) are hanging, sure signs that preparations for the Harvest's End festivals are underway.
END OF ACT