Online Roleplay Thread

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Online Roleplay Thread

Post by Karvon » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:30 pm

This is an archive of the NWC forum

Intro

PCs are part of a small seasonal caravan bearing basic goods to Kendall Keep, a small outlying settlement in the southwestern part of Yoemanry. You may individually decide whether you wish to be employed as short-term guards, or merely accompanying the the caravan for mutual protection as you travel south.

The scene opens as the caravan is camped in a small meadow for the evening about a day or so from Kendall Keep.

-----------------

Oddly enough, that blond that has been accompanying you is actually one of the hired hands on the trip. She sure seems happy. Perhaps too happy to be one of the guards. Oh well - stranger things have been seen in these lands. In any case, she must either be green behind the ears, or has just broken her bow - the one she's carrying (and quite intrigued with) is brand new - like it's never even been fired. Her well used sword must have a different story. She sure seems happy.

"Finally a bit of time off. I imagine this is as good a time as any to site this beauty in,eh?"

she cheerfully admits to another of the guards as she draws an arrow from her quiver and spies for the perfect target in the forest

"Knock, draw and... "

Her eyes wince and nose wrinkles as she embarrassingly reaches for another arrow.
This time she was dead-on. She fires two more successful shots before joining the others as they assemble a fire.

"Well, so far so good. We should set up watch positions for the night. I'd be happy with any shift."

She suggests as she underlays the firewood with a neat stack of kindling and sets it ablaze.
She draws her short sword from her side and carefully slices a thin layer of skin from the edge of her thumb - checking the blade for sharpness - then, in a second, it is returned to its sheath. With a thud, her backpack takes its place next to the log end she seems to have claimed for herself. After a short session of stretches and relaxing exercise, she re-equips with her bow and unnecessarily polishes its new finish as she scans the surrounding area for anything unexpected.

-------------

Rand looked around warily. He was a veteran of many such caravan jobs. If not for the blond smiling all the time, he'd be walking at the front. He liked to keep an eye on the road ahead, usually. Every time he thought about what was ahead, he worried about her. She didn't seem to quite get what guarding a caravan was all about. Protection started with good intelligence. You really have to know what your up against if you plan to see another daybreak.
He took this job figuring on maybe fighting some goblins, orcs maybe. Heck possibly a brigand or ten. He felt pretty sure that anything that came along would probably be taken care of. If something did happen, he wanted to make sure that ol' blondy was still smiling when it was over.
One day, she pulled out her new bow, turned to me and said, "Finally a bit of time off. I imagine this is as good a time as any to site this beauty in,eh?"
She was quite pleased with herself, frankly, so was I. She actually hit the dang thing, twice even.
That night turned out to be quite a turning point. After making a fire and setting up the watches, ......

--------------

Retrieving a bottle of dwarven firewine sneakily from his pack Grumni takes a mighty swig and then belches loudly. Wiping his hand across his mouth he looks pleased with himself.

"Moradin's beard that's a fine brew." He grins.

He turns to Rand.

"let's hope we get to kill plenty of those green skinned orcish devils, eh?"

Not waiting for a reply he rummages through his pack producing a packet of dried beef. Stuffing far too much onto his mouth he chews happily.

------------------

Its amazing how much you can exagerate your magical abilities. Ok so maybe he hinted that he could summon a massavie tiger to fight to protect the caravan. And maybe he hinted that he could cast fireballs in the air and bring about earthquakes. Nothing wrong with a little exageration here and there about ones abilities.
Shady studied the group before him as he jiggled his dice. The urge to play a game of dice was growing stronger with each day. Hopefully he'd soon find a sucker willing to bet their wages.

----------------

A dozen feet from the fire his caravavan fellows had started, his back against a tree, sat Kaden. His legs were folded under him, his hands on thighs, palms upright.

He sat with perfect posture and balance in silent meditation, feeling every involuntary body movement, the pumping of his hearth, the air filling is lungs, his own blood flowing through his veins.

Kaden had joined the Kendall Keep bounded caravan for no more than mutual protection on his way to investigate some rumours of a dozen scrolls, bearing the teachings of Grandmaster Papa Joh, uncovered near Kendall Keep.

Kaden opened one eye to regard his, often noisy, travelling companions around the fire - "One more day of travelling..." - the reclusive monk tought for himself, as he was not accustomed to have so many people around him.

----------------

Kaden came out of his meditative state some time later that afternoon to find out that the caravan was gonne. Maybe it wasn't the best of ideas to wander off so far from the caravan.He shrugged as he considered it, after all, he was near Kendall Keep.

Kaden made it into Kendall Keep before the night crawled in, and was greeted at the gate with a less than warm welcome. The gate guards eyed suspiciously at the lonely ragged and dirty man...it seemed that maybe it would be wiser to find his company again, since it would probabbly facilatate his meddling concerning the lost scrolls that had draw him there.

He headed for the local inn to find his companions, at first he tried to go unnoticed trying to discern if joining his previously traveling companions would indeed help him or hinder in his task of uncovering the truth behind the rumours.

As he expected, the rowdy group was there."It hasn't been too bad" - the monk considered while eavesdroping on the group. After all, he had been as welcomed has he had ever been by this people. He moved to greet his would-be friends, that meanwhile had noticed his presence. He brushed aside Rynn's hug, more because he really wasn't used to such friendly displays toward him than anything else, but deep inside Kaden actually found some comfort.

=============================

Silk's nose twitched, not helping his rat-faced appearance at all as he considered the old man who claimed to be a wizard's retainer. He tilted his head, adjusting the too big jerkin and ragged, gravy stained brown shirt that he wore.

"So... what's this about a wizard?"

---------------------------------

The steward studies the group for a moment then continues.

As we were saying, the wizard is looking for a person, or persons, to collect him creatures found in the swamps south of the keep. Specifically, he is interested in getting samples of the frogs which abound in said swamps. He is authorized a bounty of 100 gold coins per unique kind of frog returned for his inspection and study. If you can manage to return live samples in good condition, he will offer double that.

Are those conditions acceptable to you?

He pauses a moment.

Perhaps you need some time to discuss your options amongst yourselves.

He turns and pulls out a cloth to polish a counter top.

-----------------------

"I can hunt frogs..."

The halfling looks about, still very confused.

-----------------------------

“Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to accept this Job, the coins are welcome for I have little left for food…” - Kaden shared with his companions , putting an hand on Silk’s shoulder– “…and perhaps, even such a menial task may open some doors before us in the future.” – the monk finished , looking around waiting for the rest of the group to reply.

Kaden thought that getting in the good side of a wizard might indeed help out on his personal quest, maybe he could even talk the wizard into some divining once he got his trust. And he wasn’t lying about the coin, after all, even one has gifted with his discipline, needed to feed.

------------------------

"Frogs it is, I don't mind muckin' about in the swamp." *grimaces*

Great, after a long day of walking next to a wagon, now I get to swim around in the local filthy mud bog. Nobody ever said life was easy, but c'mon.
He wearily looked over his companions, returning his gaze to Rynn. Dang it all, that was one cheerful woman. Catching her eye, he can't help but smile. *smiles*

"So, which way to this swamp, geezer? Er, I mean Jeeves."

-----------------------

Grumni scratched his beard thoughtfully.

"Frogs yer say? Well I hope they're bloomin big 'uns. Frog slaying won't get me a place in the legends of me clan. Still... the coin'll be welcome enough"

------------------------

"Why kill the frogs? I thought it was to capture them."

-------------------------

"Yer mean he wants 'em still wriggling? That'll cost extra I reakon".

-------------------------

Jeeves glanced up from his dusting,

Frogs are founds along the river south of here and in greater numbers, and sizes, in the swamp south of the river. The swamp goes for leagues and leagues, so beware of getting lost.

...and as I outlined, the wizard has authorized a double bounty of frogs returned in good living condition.

He turned and focused his attention on dusting a vase.

---------------------------

With a soft smile upon her face, she glances at each of her party as they discuss the situation. Her mind wanders a bit in regards to the 'good' qualities that she absorbs from each of her new mates. As the mention of muck and swamp slopping crosses her ears, her face flushes a bit and her nose wrinkles - and her smile widens. She recoils into memories of her father - the times that they would sit together, after a long day's work, and rub oils into her leathers - protecting them from all of the various ways that she would use to acquire goods for his shop. The deep, gruff-yet-kind nature of his voice soothed her as she momentarily lost focus on the discussion passing before her - the discussion with old Greeves - "Rain, soot and sewer sludge will never be friendly to your grace and skill, my Rynn. That's what makes these moments we spend together a blessing for both You and I - You see, my daughter... these oils will keep your leather fresh, new and supple... you can feel your surroundings and the nasties of your journey cannot break through - as for me... Well I just love the time when you can finally sit still and share a sit with your old man." ... her ears come back into focus and she lets out a pleasant sigh, running her fingers through her hair as she stretches backwards, feeling the wonderful effect of the oils in her well-kept leather - the freedom of movement - the resistance of sticking muck.

"I agree - completely." she adds

"The frogs would be best kept alive. This sounds to me like an important mission. Just think, we'd be helping out a wizard in his research. Imagine how great this honor could be.

Yes. I think we should try to keep the frogs alive!" she pleads with a smile

"Still..."

she seems to drift, slightly, back into thought before retuning to what she was going to say

"I wonder if we should still speak with that carpenter as well. Perhaps what he needs could be related, somehow."

she glances toward the Dwarf

"Perhaps? Perhaps not. But if we don't see him, we'll never know."

---------------------

The dwarf ponders the lack of coin in his pockets.

"Hmm... Might as well kill two birds with one stone and go see the whittler I suppose. No point trekking into the swamps twice."

----------------------

glances through the party, looking for signs of disappointment amongst them

"Just an idea... "

short pause

"...just a suggestion for us to ponder...
you know... sleep on it.

I mean, we ARE going to sleep sometime soon, aren't we? It's been a L O N G day.

=======================================

After an initial foray into the swamps, the party has decided to pull back and make camp on the edge of the swamp, lick their wounds and review their options. The scene opens round a small campfire.

-------------------------------

Excited to no end from the day's events, the memory of the noxious bite she got from the over-sized rat drove her mind to worry. An entire vial of healing potion. It did the trick on the wound, but something... foreign... remained in her system... in her blood... she could feel it... it made her feel weak... sick.
Her expression of worry remains as a smile begins to form, glancing upwards toward Grumni, as he stares into the glowing flames.

"So, Grumni,
when that big ol' rat came up an' bit me, it gave me an awful hurt. You knew that, didn't you.

You must have, I mean...
... and what WAS that that you did for me...
... to me. I felt so weak, sick and helpless. But you... like... said a prayer and... well... did something. You get your Dwarf God to drive some junk out of me? Is that what you did?"

She stares - waiting for a response - her smile widening

"Do you... like... talk to your God... and he listens?"

-----------------------------

"Aye Moradin answered me prayers and cured what ailed yer. Nasty creatures rats, best killed on sight yer ask me." Grumni responded.

He carefully looked into the one of the groups bags and retrieved the body of a dead frog, holding it up by the leg.

"Its a bit of a scrawny thing ain't it? Don't think that wizard fella will be paying us much fer this. We best try harder tomorrow."

--------------------------

After a late night of drinking and debauchery, as usual for Rand after a successful caravan delivery, Rand awoke to a numbing headache. Or maybe it was another hangover, either way, he awoke alone. Not all that unusual, except that he was hoping to find some of his companions to go catch some frogs or something for a wizard.
After getting some breakfast, and an ale, he decided to try and find his companions, or maybe some frogs.
So, off he went, heading south and keeping a good eye out for tracks.

-------------------

Her mouth opens wide with surprise - eyes aglow with excitement

"You saved my life!

Thank you...

...I'll never forget that!

It's pretty scary and dangerous out here. Better keep on our toes!"

continues running her whetstone along the blade of her short sword

================================
Back in the Keep

Having returned from their frog hunting expedition and gotten paid, the party has settled into the local inn and tavern to rest and recuperate. The scene opens as members are gathered around a table downstairs in the One-Eyed Cat tavern.

-----------------------------

Having finally eaten and slept, Rynn takes a bit of extra time to inspect her blade prior to returning to the tavern. Not sure of what the future holds, she has a feeling that this blade, above all other things, will be instrumental in her own survival.

She sits in her usual spot, make eye-contact with Jess, who smiles and walks over to her.

"You already know what I want...
Steak - make it your best cut,
Potatoes - could you mix some onions in this time?
and a small bowl of beans.

...Oh, and an ale as well,

Thanks Jess"

she flips Jess a gold coin

"For your excellence, sweetie!"

-----------------------------

A string of curses can be clearly heard in the corridor outside Grumni's room...

"Bah! Frog's innards all over me kit."

The dwarf wretches.

"Amphibian brains in me rations! Damn wizards"

-------------------------

"Say Jess,
Do you have a second?"

she finishes chewing the piece of meat, swallows, and an awkward expression evolves onto her face with sarcastic curiosity

"You just took my order right?"

Jess smiles and gives Rynn a returned expression as she nods

"... and now I'm happily eating because you brought my food to me, right?"

Jess looks puzzled, but nods

"Now, it's my understanding that you get paid to do that already - so do you go to the kitchen afterwards and demand, without prior warning, that you're going to need an 'extra cut' just because you actually had to perform the duties you were meant to do in the first place?"

Jess shakes her head with a wide smile, graces Rynn's shoulder fondly as she rounds her to sit by her side

"Someone in the party's strong-arming you, aren't they?"

accepting Jess' embrace, Rynn's expression goes vacant as she continues to nibble her food and sip her ale. In between sessions between her food and mouth, she mutters out

"Ever have that happen to you?
I coughed up some serious gold to this jag just to be rid of 'im. Not sure what the others' opinions are, but if I gotta work with this gloat, I'm seriously scared I'll gut 'em and bring his steaks here for you to take back to the kitchen for me.

Any advice, Jess?

What should I do?"

---------------------------

she glances up at the silent Jess as she continues her meal.
As others walk in, she drops the subject and smiles at them as they approach

----------------------------

Rand makes his way downstairs after a long night of drinking. Grabbing the railing hard once or twice to keep his balance, he manages to sit on a bench without falling.
Once seated, he looks up to see Rynn and Jess smiling at him.
"Bah" he growls, but can't help smiling back at the two women.
"Jess, can you git me something to eat, something that will fill my belly. Oh, and bring an ale too."
Wiping sleep from his eyes, he takes a deep breath and prepares to start the day.

-----------------------

Grumni strolls towards the rest of the group yawning.

"Fetch me some bacon and eggs woman." He mumbles and more surprisingly; "Have yer got any orange juice?"

================================

Around the fire

Following their harrowing brush with death in the valley of the caves, the group retreated and were welcomed by the nearby pilgrims. The sister leading the group helped treat those wounded. Now they sit contemplating what has happened and how to proceed.

-------------------------------

"Bah! Damnable goblins and bandits, me armour's got more holes than than a sieve." Grumni cries in disgust.

"I've had enough of them birds as well. Bah!"

-------------------------

After finding out the pilgims have no ale, or beer, or whiskey, Rand decides it's time to head back to the Keep.
"Grumni, I've had enough of goblins and birds as well. Let's try and find somewhere to drink. I've got enough gold to hold me over for half a year if need be."

---------------------

Grumni frowns.

"Yer can never have enough gold lad..." He takes a look back the way they came and shrugs.

"... but yer can never have enough ale either and that Cob's about as much use as a two legged dog. Let's go."

==========================

The merchant offers you some food and drink around his campsite as partial recompense for you assistance vs the bandits. He and his guards share stories of how the bandits have seemed to be more aggressive and violent of late, killing victims rather than just robbing them.

D'Amberville talks at length about himself.

I'm originally from the Kingdom of Keoland to the north of these lands. I read tales of heroes who battled evil in these parts some two score years past. I decided to visit this region and collect more detailed accounts from the local people as well as compile a history of the Keep. Imagine my surprise when I discovered the area seemed beset by troubles once again. I'm curious to discover why this is so and help deal with the issue, provided of course I can find like-minded folk to work with. Perhaps you folk are such a group?

-------------------------------

The small gnome frowned as he tucked the even smaller pouch of coins safely into his pocket. He had just completed his “ritual” of emptying its contents into one hand and then slowly, placing each coin back into the purse; as if by going slow, he would discover more would be there. He stared into the fire where a Fire Mephit was frolicking with obvious glee, apparently unconcerned about his master’s troubles.

Then the gnome reached into another pocket and pulled out a small smooth piece of polished stone. He studied the stone intently, turning it about in his hands; gazing at the fire through it; and then, as if on impulse, held it up to peer at the moon that was rising above the trees surrounding the small clearing where he was camped. Then, like the pouch of coins before it, he carefully returned the stone to a pocket.

The gnome looked out of place, alone in the woods, dressed in a bright red coat and britches complete with gold buttons and trim. Although the clothes were obviously “new”, they were covered with a fine layer of dust collected from travelling along the roads; and if one were to look carefully, there were several scorch and burn marks scattered about its surface as well. The only other item of interest was a large stick that the gnome had placed near the log where he sat, it was nearly twice as tall as the gnome, and the larger end had been burned as if held in a fire.

“Mali, keep alert and wake me if any trouble should arise.” The gnome said to the creature playing in the fire. The mephit chittered something back in reply that sounded more like the crackling flames than an actual language, and with that the gnome lay down on a small bed-roll and closed his eyes.

-----------------------

Rand listened to the merchants story while drinking. So he may have forgotten some of the tale, he got the main idea. This area has a history of trouble. So the bandits are overdoing it a bit, that didn't stop him from killing them when the attacked.
Now if there had been a group of adventurers in the area twenty years ago, they were gone now. I suppose that leaves an opening for new adventurers, just the type of job Rand was looking for.
Now, if only they could find some of those damnable willow trees for that goofy carpenter. I mean, who sends people on errands out into the swamps to chop lumber. I mean, how exactly are we supposed to get the logs back to him. He could have supplied us with a draft horse, or even better directions.

Hmmmph.

--------------

Grumni sat, a small repair kit in hand and his armour spread on the ground around him.

"Damn bandits! Damn arrows!" He grumbled as he tried to patch a number of dents and small holes in his breastplate.

"Cowards the lot of 'em. Too scared to stand eye-to-eye and match steel." He turned away from those around him and sneakily opened the small bag holding every penny he owned.

He sighed. "Still a long ways too go before I can afford some of that platemail. Going to have ta kill me a few more bandits." He quietly asked for Moradin's blessing and stashed the coins away.

=======================

The scene opens on the party huddled together around a small fire on a misty spit of dry ground in the northern stretch of of the swamp.

=======================

Scene opens on the street outside the carpenter's shop at Kendall Keep after returning the willow wood and getting paid.

--------------------

Barrin sat at the round table in the inn (what was its name again, prancing pony? Bah! At least the ale's good here), sipping his ale and looking at the other patrons. The young Dwarf (by Dwarf standards) fingered his red beard as he drained the last of the ale and set the mug down. What a life for a smithy's son, he thought. Shame pa didn't agree with his decision to be a Dwarven Champion, but he'll come around Barrin was sure. First, though, he needed experience, and that meant making his way in the world. And what better way than with a group of fellow adventurers? In fact, he had heard the locals talking about a young group who recently entered town and were helping out at the keep. Maybe they could use another sword arm, Moradin knows it's dangerous out there... He smirked and tossed some coins on the table to pay for his drink and got up, grabbing and checking his gear to ensure everything was in place. He waved down his waitress and looked up at her as he asked, "Lass, where be the keep?"

------------------

Distraught from laying ill in her room and missing out on whatever her party was up to, she makes her way to the tavern in the hopes that one of those plates of steak and beans will cheer her up. Perhaps a flagon of ale would assist. Upon entering, to her dismay, she saw none of her compatriots itching to tell her news of their endeavors.

Jess,
she stops the busy woman who was methodically bringing trays of food and bottles to and from the kitchen

When you get the time...

"The usual?" Jess smiles at one of her best customers - knowing that she always likes to order the same thing - and she pays well

Yes... please... and...

"Yes?" Jess stops in her tracks at the bewildered look on Rynn's face with genuine concern

... Have you...

... Have you seen my friends recently?

------------------------

Jesse stopped and smiled,

Um, they left a day or so ago... think they mentioned something about a job for the carpenter? Haven't seen them since.

-------------------

Thanks Jess, you're a doll!

As she eats she recalls the fact that nobody wanted to do what the carpenter wanted done. Either they ran out of options or the carpenter made the pot a bit sweeter. In any case - they could use her help (she thought to herself, not knowing that the task had already been completed).

Something about danger.

she utters softly to herself

Goblins? They will need help.

Rynn finishes eating, though enough was left on her plate to feed another, leaves another gold piece under her plate for Jess and heads out to the carpenter's shop - hoping he could tell her the direction that they had went. To her amazement and relief, they were just outside his door when she arrives.

Hey all,
sounds to me like you're about to go hunting for some of that dangerous willow wood.
Mind if I tag along?

--------------------

Grumni emptied the last of the swamp water out of his boots before entering the inn.

"Bah! I'm getting fed up of this swamp dwelling and wood chopping. Me axe longs to taste orcish blood."

With a sigh he rembered the unfortunate cave incident when they encountered the goblin tribe.

"Maybe we can find a few more folks and take them on Rand?"

======================

The party has stopped at the merchant's camp on their way back to the keep from the caves of chaos.

-----------------------

Barrin lay on his roll, looking up at the stars. 'Tis a fine group of adventurers ye found, lad he thought to himself. While lying in his blood wasn't his idea of fun, he felt that this was the group he was looking for and could barely wait until the dawn and the next adventure.

----------------------

Shifting back and forth, she couldn't find any comfort after the last bandit attack.

I've lost too much blood to carry on, my friends.
I'm going to head back to the pilgrimage - hopefully they can help my heal fully.

with her hands holding in her guts, she made her way out of sight - stealthily heading back towards the pilgrims.

---------------------

Some time after Rynn left the group, you see a figure slowly approaching. A long, flowing cape masks the figure's shape, at first. The mild swing of the hips and elegant gate reveals the mysterious figure to be a woman. As she nears the group, you notice that she barely wears anything at all, aside from the cape and boots that reach up her thighs. Her long, full brown hair follows her like a shadow. Her shape and her face have an unusually high level of attraction. She glances at each of you with eyes that seemingly soothe their way through your very soul while her intoxicating lips open slightly and glide blissfully into a warming, seductive smile.

Barrin, Grumni and Rand...

she recognizes each of you in turn with a voice that is soft and comforting. She stands above you all, upright - her cape gently flowing back away from the fire, her hands on her hips. She continues to speak in her gentle, soft voice:

Rynn has told me of you and your adventures.
Don't worry - she is in good hands now. Very...
... Good hands.

She was heading for the Pilgrims when we... a group of high councilors, on our way through... came upon her. The head of my order and his kin are heading back home now. I am at my point in experience that I have...
... needs beyond that of heading to some home to relax and study. After hearing her story, we have come to the conclusion that I would be better served helping the lot of you...

Her voice and actions through the story are alluring - every bit as much so as her immaculate beauty. She gently and lovingly caresses your eyes as she glides her gaze to each of you in turn as she speaks. Her offer continues on until at the very end she finally reveals that she is a sorceress. The air around you becomes warm and sweet as you breathe it in - you can taste it - touch it - and just before its soothing qualities rock you fast to sleep, you hear her final words:

Of course... ultimately, the choice is yours.

By the time you wake again, you feel uncommonly refreshed - you realize that she was in your dreams as you slept. She is laying there, opposite you, awake by the fire - fully aware of all that surrounds you and the small camp that you're in. What's left of the embers in the fire pit cast a soft, orange glow upon the perfect, smooth skin that wraps her delicate frame. It seems that whenever you look in her direction, your gaze is met with hers - which might make some feel almost a bit uncomfortable.

-----------

Barrin woke sputtering and quickly glanced about before finally settling down on the newcomer. "Wha? 'Tis nae dream." He glared at the woman across the fire and wagged his finger at her. "Didnae yer parents tell ye ta not mess with 'nother's dreams, lass? Ye pull that again and ye can find 'nother ta bother 'cause I'd not be standin fer me dreams ta be bothered!" He stared at her for a few moments before grunting and laying back down, his back to her but his hands wrapped ready around his ax. Bloody sorceress folk, always thinkin' they know everythin he thought as he drifted back of into sleep.

-------------------

Eyes glistening in the morning light against the glow of the dying fire, she gives a confused sort of smile toward the stalwart dwarf

If I accidentally ran around in your head while you slept, Barrin, I truly apologize. I was merely trying to slow you heart-rate a little. You know, to keep that blood from spilling too fast as you slept, that's all. I'll try my best to never invade your thoughts again.

as she spoke, her smile changed to an expression of deep concern. At the end, she softly spoke to herself, "I must focus harder to keep this... gift... under control. Oh master, why did you send me here? Do you really think I'm up for this?"
she then turns her head to look at the others in the hopes that she didn't anger anybody else.

In the end, master dwarf, perhaps you'll be grateful that I came to you on this day.

fully rested, she stands and walks several paces from the fire and looks up to meet the accumulating clouds to the east.

Sure is good to be so far away from home.

--------------------------

Barrin rolled over and cracked open an eye at Zym. He studied her for a few moments before snorting and rolling back. "Ye may not have meant ta, lass, but there be folk that don take ta kindly with people messin 'round in their 'eads. As fer havin ye, well, if'n ye can roast our enemies without roastin us, I be happy. Outside of that, time be tellin the truth and all." He stretched, then released his grip on his ax as he stood up and shook himself awake. "So, what's fer breakfast?"

-------------------------------

She turns her head back toward the dwarf, smiling at his question - only to realize that she doesn't believe him to be asking out of humor. Her smile quickly erodes. Zym reaches hurriedly into a sack, knowing that all she has are dried seeds and fruit - hardly the sort of thing you'd offer up to a hungry dwarf for breakfast. She looks back up into his eyes with sincerity and replies:

I... I'm not sure, Barrin.
Do you have anything you'd like me to cook up for you? I can cook.

She pleads as she places more wood on the fire - blowing it gently into flame once again

All I brought with me are trail rations, that I doubt you would find very appetizing.

--------------------------

The hob looked out of place sitting in the large chair, staring into the fire at the One-Eyed Cat. It wasn't so much that the chair was too big for his small frame, but rather his attire; he was wearing what was obviously a brand new set of leather armor, darkened to reduce any reflection, and of course the bare feet. He had ordered a mug of ale, but apparently he was not here to quench his thirst. Every time the door opened and another patron entered the tavern, he’d look up eagerly, watch for a few moments and then return to gazing at the fire.

-----------------------

The trip was long, among many unknown people. Yes, complicated, but he must travel with the rest, be part of this so called caravan. However, he has a hunch, a feeling that something is about to happen, but can’t explain or even understand what. The trip is erratic, heading towards a keep, though slow, and that is not a good idea, endangers the group. They are too self confident, but no one is really safe, not on these lands, especially with such low numbers.

When the night falls they camp, he makes the first watch, then goes to sleep, tired and aging to close his eyes. A mistake, barely hears something that awakes him, but it is too late. The caravan is under attack, taking his blade steps out of the small tent to face the enemy, but didn’t see it come… feeling his head explode everything turns dark, his legs fail him and feels the hardiness of the ground as his body hits the floor.

When the sun rises the scene is different from what should be. There are few bodies scattered, some blood, but the rest of the caravan disappeared. There was never an attack, on the contrary, from the beginning was a trap, wrong band to hang around, betraying some of the travellers in the night. He is still unconscious; perhaps they gave him for dead or just left him to die from the wounds. He wasn’t the target; for his positions are still with him, but to what avail… will he recover… survive?

----------------------

Rand wakes from a night of dreams to hear a womans voice as she offers to cook.
"Hell yeah, get to cooking already!"
Rising up from the ground, he notices how some of the group seem to have fallen asleep where they were. He thinks back to how he just fell asleep, crikey, he barely drank anything last night, why the heck would he not set up his bedroll and just sleep on the ground. He looks with interest at the half dressed woman scurrying around the fire. *eyebrows raise*
"Who are you? And where's Rynn?"

----------------------------

Grumni sat cleaned the dried kobald blood from his axe with a smile.

"This is more like it, frogs and willow were never going to get me Moradin's praise."

The blood removed he went about sharpening the axe's blade.

"They'll be causing the locals no more trouble that's fer sure."

==============================

The party is back at the keep and some have just finished showing the orc map to the scribe/wizard D'Amberville.

------------------------------

Two dirty looking men sat by the side of the road a half day's travel from Kendall Keep. At first glance they appeared to be beggers, however, a closer look would reveal daggers in both their belts. They looked to be taking a rest on a journey between towns but in fact were watching for any passing traveller that might be a likely target to be waylaid.

A man come into view, thin, with long black hair flowing loose, wearing a robe and a cloak, carrying a staff. He was striding purposefully down the road as if he had an appointment to keep. The two men shifted in their positions and readied themselves as if they might try to intercept him. As the man in the robe neared, the two men stood up and walked casually into the roadway.

"Howdy stranger, can we trouble you for a moment?" said one of the men.

The robed man slowed his pace and glanced warily from one to the other.

"You see, we were wondering if you might be in a postion to help us," said the second man.

"That's right, you could help us by giving us something you have that we don't, " continued the first man.

"Aye," said the second man. "A donation of gold would do right nicely."

"Agreed Brother, " said the first man. "You look like you could spare any gold you might have on you."

With that, the man in the robes waved his free hand and a badger appeared out of thin air and set to immediately attacking the two men. This was quickly followed by a couple of bursts of magical energy that struck each of the men in turn. The robed man then grasped his staff in both hands and joined his badger companion in the melee.

The suddeness of the attack proved too much for the two men and they fled the roadway for the safety of the nearby woodland. The mage smiled slightly to himself as he watched the two men been chased by the badger. Adjusting his gear, he continued down the road in the direction of Kendell Keep.

----------------------------

Grumni muttered in annoyance as he left the scribes shop.

"Orcish? I coulda guessed that. Less use than a goblin's armpit, know-it-all scribes with their book learning."

He scowled and kicked a small brick down the road in frustation then set off at a brisk pace (for a dwarf) with the others of the group trailing behind.

"Hmph, best try that Martin or whatever's he's called in the baker's next, though I don't hold out much hope after that nonsense he was spouting about cultured goblins or some sort." He announced to the world in general. Taking an abrupt turn he entered the bakery, mouth watering at the smell of baking cakes despite his grumbling. The dwarf thrust the blood smeared paper in a clenched fist towards the startled inhabitants.

"What are yer knowing about these symbols," Grumni demanded. "I'll be having one of the cherry pies while I'm here too."

------------------------

Barrin looked around in wonder at the size and scope of the keep. 'ow these 'umans can be livin under this sky is beyond me, he thought to himself. Dad did be tellin' me 'umans be different, I just didna know how much 'till now. The dwarf shook his head and started towards the bakery, only to be pushed aside by Grumni. "'Ey, lad! Where ye be goin in such a rush?" Getting no response from the obviously agitated dwarf, Barrin followed him as quickly as he could.

He entered the bakery in time to see the other dwarf waving around the bloody piece of paper and demanding a cherry pie. "Oi! I be havin one of those as well."

------------------------

Brother Martin smiled as the Dwarves stomped in and took the dirty piece of parchment from the priest and studied it for a moment with a slight frown.

Perhaps you could enlighten me as to the circumstances surrounding the acquisition of this document?

---------------------------

"Wf ownd thum wkundz inna Oykcav." The dwarf commented, his mouth full of an extraordinarily large slice of pie.

The human looked puzzled. "Huh? sorry I don't speak kobald."

Grumni's eye's bulged and crumbs burst from his mouth causing Martin to squeal. "How dare you sir! Yer need to get yer fool ears cleaned. I said we found them markings in an orc cave. It was fulla dead orcs too, not that I'm complaining. Who ever had done fer 'em was already long gone." Barrin nodded in agreement.

---------------------

Rolo gave a little cough to gain the attention of the man who was studying Grumni's copy of the markings found in the orc cave.

"To clarify, we discovered these markings on the floor in a rather out of the way portion of an orc cave. All the orcs within the cave had been slain by someone or something well before our visit. Master Grumni here had the good sense to copy the markings in the hopes that perhaps someone can make some sort of sense out of them."

Rolo flashed a sheepish grin before adding, "Just thought that might be helpful..."

And turning toward the Baker, "eh, you don't have a nice mince pie ready per chance?"

------------------------

"yeah, what he said. Now don't be shy about handing out them pies."

------------------------

Barrin nodded in agreement while licking his fingers clean. "Aye! Don be stingy with them pies, lad."

Brother Martin nodded and examined the parchment a bit more.

These orcish scratchings here are shamanic symbols for death goddess and temple. I don't know what the others mean. Was there a shrine in the caves? Perhaps the orcs worshiped such?

He hands the parchment back.

-----------------

Grumni belched loudly.

"Death goddesses eh? Didn't look like no temple to me mind." The dwarf absent-mindedly picked some crumbs from is beard.

"Thankfully yer pies are better than yer advice. My compliments to the chef. I've had enough of this prattling, I'm off for a beer." He snatched the paper from Martin's hand and headed for the inn.

-----------------

"A Death Goddess! Does this goddess have a name?"

"A cave full of dead orcs and a drawing of another cave that seems to be the shrine of a Death Goddess ... coincidence?"

Rolo's eyes widened and he momentarily forgot about pies.

"I don't think it was a shrine where we found these markings ... more like the chief's private quarters I'm thinking. But, perhaps there is more to that cave than we saw; which really wasn't all that much actually."

"Let me see that drawing again Grumni ... wonder if there is anything recognizable showing where the entrance may be located or at least something to narrow down our search?"

"... but, I'm not certain we want to run into whatever it was that killed those orcs -- not without knowing more about it I'm thinking."

------------------------------

Brother Martin shook his head,

I'm afraid I'm not all that familiar with the local orc tribes and their deities. Perhaps chaplain Abercrombie might be able to enlighten you more, as he's resided here for some time now.

--------------------------------

Outside Grumni hesitated and glanced towards the inn then in the direction of the chaplain uncertainly.

"All this talking has given me a right good thirst but then again it might be better to get all this researching done and out the way." He looked longingly towards the inn once again then sighed.

"Alright lads, lets go see this Abercrombe bloke."

------------------

"Right ... hard to concentrate on food with death goddesses and dead orcs on my mind. Whatever have we gotten ourselves into?"

------------------

Grumni shrugged.

"As long as its profitable and does Moradin's work I don't mind."

------------------

Rolo felt the bulging bag of coins he'd received earlier and smiled, "Yeah, you're right on that account Sir Dwarf!"

He accompanied the dwarf with a bit of a bounce in his step; all thoughts of death and death goddesses having been pushed aside by visions of chests and coffers overflowing with gold, gems, and other riches.

"Yep, this is the life for me!" he said to no one in particular.

-----------------------

Rand was late getting to the bakery, since he had stopped off for an ale on the way.
Once inside, he avoided all the pie crumbs and brought out his piece of the kobold throne.
Brother Martin, I brought back some culture. Took it from the kobold throne room. Is this the kind of stuff you were looking for?
*looks at all the pie crumbs, getting hungry*

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Karvon
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Re: Online Roleplay Thread

Post by Karvon » Thu Feb 17, 2011 5:51 pm

===================

Having burned all the corpses in the orc cavern, the party has pitched camp in one chamber to rest up and heal. Scene opens around the small cooking fire.

----------------------

Quite an exciting end to the day! As if chasing off a couple of bandits wasn't bad enough, Eli had to contend with hordes of Zombies and enraged wildlfe. This kind of thing hadn't been on the curriculum at the academy, that is to say, all at once! The whole episode had left him feeling a bit fatigued and as soon as he was able, he would try to get some rest.

But first, there was the small matter of a growling stomach to take care of. Digging into his pack, he brought out some of the trailbread he purchased at the bakery during his short visit to Kendall Keep. Unwrapping a cloth shroud around a hard cheese, he cut a piece off and looked for somewhere comfortable to sit. With his back against the wall of the cave, he noticed his companions were doing much the same thing as he ate.

----------------------

Barrin sat down heavily on the cave floor and leaned against a wall. He pulled out an oiled cloth and tried to wipe off the Orc blood from his armor. Finishing that grizzly task, he packed the cloth away and pulled out an iron ration and unwrapped it, eating in silence. Afterwards, he looked over at Eli appraisingly for a few moments before addressing him: "Yer pretty good with that stick, lad, but we be needin more than that soon, I reckon. 'ow's yer finger waggling?"

-------------------

Grumni poured some water over his head and scrubbed his beard in an effort to get the smell of roasting orc out of it. It had been a day of grim tasks that was for sure.

The knowledge that from now on any foe they vanquishd might rise again as the undead sent a shiver down his spine. Still, the dwarf took comfort in knowing he was doing Moradin's work by taking the fight to the death cultists.

He watched the others eating by the fire and though his stomach rumbled the thought of eating after the sickening orc barbeque dispelled any thoughts of food.

--------------------

Eli turned his gaze from a slightly green looking Grumni to the other dwarf of the party, Barrin.

"My dear dwarf, 'Finger waggling' as you so quaintly put it, has it meirts when the appropriate situation demands it. I used my...eh.. staff for the most part against the zombies as I deemed the danger posed by them not to demand the full application of my mastery of the Arcane Art," he said with a slight air of superiority.

"However, I will concede that the sheer numbers of the Undead would have overwhelmed my capacity to deal with them all at this moment in time. I am therefore glad to be in the company of such stout-hearted folk as yourselves. I'm sure we can all work together for our mutual benefit."

------------

Grumni listened then scratched his head.

"Huh?"

------------

Barrin listened to Eli and just shrugged. "Whether it be by finger waggling or using yer stick, lad, yer a good fighter and be welcomed 'mongst us."

------------

Grumni raised a bushy eyebrow.

"I don't want to see him wigling his stick at me Barrin, that's something a man should keep private." He whispered to Barrin.

-------------------

Rolo scrounged through his pack and pulled out a small package of nuts, dried fruit and granola; “trail mix” was the common term for this traveler’s fare. He located a suitable spot near the fire and sat down and slowly ate his snack, listening to the banter between the dwur and Eli as he reflected on the day’s events in his mind.

“Zombies … only good thing I can say about them is that they are slow,” he said to anyone who cared to listen.

“I do wonder though, what has caused them to arise like this? Someone or something has to create them, no? Do you think this death goddess’s shrine could be causing this? If so, it must be nearby don’t you think? Grumni? Eli? Either of you know much about zombies?”

“Oh, and I expect we will be posting a watch, eh? I can take the first shift if you like, not really that tired at the moment …”

--------------------

The priest takes his ration and eats slowly, then before getting ready to rest retires for a moment to pray for the fallen, even if orcs their souls deserve find eternal rest, and not turn into zombies.

When he returns hears the conversation and amused sits to keep along with it. He understand less than half of it about fingers staff and all those things, assumes that one of this new companions must be some sort of wizard or spell caster. With a smile shakes head and stands, then hears Rolo’s wise words and agrees.

Yes, and I will take the second watch, anyway I’m not sure If I will be able to rest knowing that someone has plans to wave his staff among us.

Chuckles and wraps his cloak to rest.

----------------

As he finished his snack of trail mix, Rolo’s eyes wandered about the cavern they had decided to camp in to recover from the earlier adventures.

Picking himself up, he began to make a more careful inspection of the cavern, slowly walking along its perimeter studying the floor, walls and ceiling; and using a torch to peer into the shadows to ensure there was nothing lurking here that they were not aware of.

------------------

"Zombies are vile creatures, an abomination against the natural order." Grumni commented grimly.

"Me Moradin given gifts allow me to turn 'em back to dust but I still don't like to see them pop up under me nose."

"We've got a bit of a problem here lads. Every time we send a foe to the grave they ain't going to stay there long. Only way to put a stop to this is to find the necromancer involved but I don't know much about the dark arts."

------------------

Rolo nodded at Grumni’s words and took some comfort in the fact that Good seemed to triumph over Evil – or perhaps the Living triumphed over those who were not …. He’d seen the power of the dwur priest’s god against these … things; but, there were so many of them, and they just kept coming at you, knowing no fear, never turning aside. And the way they were ALL dead, neatly stacked … almost like a “harvest”; he shuddered at that last thought.

More than ever, he was happy to have the first watch-- no chance at sleep with visions of necromancers and undead apparitions milling about his mind. He selected a suitable place just outside the light of the fire, near the cavern’s entrance from where he could see both the cavern where they were camped as well as the cave leading to it. Blending into the shadows as best he could, he made himself comfortable and began his watch in earnest; eyes and ears searching the darkness ahead for any sign of movement. He was wishing he knew more about the setting of traps rather than their avoidance … something he would have to consider later if the opportunity arose.

==================

The party has returned to the Keep and are shopping for supplies. In the small open market, a traveling merchant by the name of Mendel has set up a booth with a range of high quality, but pricey goods. He seems rather friendly and eager to chat while you do business with him

So you folks seem to have struck it rich in these parts. Where'd you come across such a trove?

----------------------------

Rolo took a quick glance behind him, wondering whom the merchant was addressing; but saw only his companions nearby.

“Rich? You must be jesting, or are gravely mistaken I think. We have managed to scrounge up a few coins here and there, but alas any ‘treasure troves’ have eluded us. Honestly, I have barely recovered enough ‘treasure’ to restock my supplies, and I doubt any of my companions have fared any better.”

---------------------------

Barrin arched an eyebrow at the merchant's words. "We not be rich if ye prices be any indication, peddler." He ran an idea over some of the displayed items. "Ye have good stock, lad, but I be wonderin who exactly ye be thinkin 'round 'ere be buyin it? Yer a bit pricey and pa always said that ye never price yerself out of yer customers' reach."

-----------------------------

Mendel smiled sympathetically

Perhaps I misjudged, but I did hear a group matching your description was exploring and clearing the old Caves of Chaos. I suppose the humanoid tribes found there are just a shadow of their former selves when they terrorized those traveling along the highway and extorted protection fees from caravans.

Yes, it's true I specialize in only the best product, and sadly, it does cost a bit to acquire and transport in these times. Hence, I travel from outpost to outpost and town to town, seeking customers - and potentially new items to add to my inventory. Should your company come across anything truly exotic or rare, I'd love to have a look - and naturally will pay a fair price.

You will have to be my guests at dinner this evening at the tavern. I'd love to hear about your adventures thus far.

Still smiling he turns to answer a question about one of the scrolls he brought with him, apparently on commission for D'Amberville.

---------------------------

Rand barely noticed the merchant on his way to the tavern. After that last ambush by the wolves, all he could think about was getting to town and trying his best to empty a keg of ale.
Matter of fact, that's where the group finds him, deep into his umpteenth cup and showing it.

"Hey, you slackers... *stops to regain his balance from standing up too quickly*.... you guys should sit somewhere."

Whereupon, he promptly sits back down.

--------------------------

“Shadows of their former self … interesting choice of words; and not as far off the mark as I’d like or perhaps even you imagine. Indeed, we have just returned from exploring the very caves you speak of; haven’t encountered any shadows as of yet, but they’re likely on the menu it would seem from our adventures thus far.”

“Dinner at the tavern this evening? Count me in! I am Rolo Underfoot, and I’d be happy to share a meal as your guest.” Rolo grins and wipes the grime off his hand as best he can before offering it to the merchant.

“I best get cleaned up a bit – no sense spoiling the atmosphere with the smell of burnt orc.”

And taking a quick glance at the merchant’s wares, “Perhaps we will come up with some things and can work out a suitable trade, mutually beneficial to both of us.”

-------------------------

"I have to agree with my companions, your prices are just this side of outrageous!" Eli remarks were directed at Mendel the merchant.

"I mean, really, 75gp for a healing potion one can get at the Temple for no more than 24gp. One would think you were a thief in disguise."
At that moment Eli realised who was standing nearby and hurriedly added, "No offense intended, of course."

------------------------

Rolo’s smile quickly dropped to a frown at Eli’s remark. “Awe, and here I was beginning to think we might be friends. I may possess certain … ere, skills … that are common enough amongst “thieves”; but I can assure you that I do not count myself as one amongst that group of derelicts. Call me a “Rogue”; call me a “scout”; or “spy” even, if you like; but please never refer to me as a “thief”; not even in jest – it sounds so … ugly and dirty and not something one would call a fellow companion or friend.”

“But of course we haven’t had the time to really get to know each other, and it is a common enough term even if used a bit loosely; so we’ll just leave it at that.”

“No offense taken, of course. Friends?” Rolo offers his still slightly grimy hand to Eli with a small smile.

------------------------

Grumni strode past with a swagger, his backpack much fuller than before he'd set off for the temple. A grin spread across his face.

"If yer were more ameniable with yer prices I'd have bought all of these here." He opened the pack to reveal the first aid kits and potions packed inside. That preacher might be foolish enough to worship a god other than Moradin but he knows how ter undercut the competition."

He scratched his chin with a glint in his eye. "Of course, should we find anything yer might find interesting the price will be somewhat more in line with yer own sales tactics. Yer best pay fer dinner while yer have the money." With that he left for the inn.

Feeling rather smug he spotted Rand, ale in hand. "Yer shouldn't get too comfortable lad. There's a necromancer needs putting in the ground fer good and there's little time ter dally."

--------------------------

*exaggerates looking around* Who's dallying?
I'll put my boot up his arse if he thinks he's gonna dally around here.
*drinks some more ale* Hey, bring an ale for my friend, Grumni.
*looks around*
Hey, where's Barrin?
*looks sad*

---------------------

Barrin eyed the merchant's wares again and snorted at Grumni's remarks. "Aye, lad. We'd be patronizing this peddler were 'is prices more in line with our wallets. As it is, we be best lookin elsewhere. Even that 'uman outside town knows 'is market better." He glanced at the merchant again before spinning on his heels and following Grumni into the inn.

"Where be Barrin? I be right 'ere. Now where's me ale?"

----------------------------

Ah, me brothers in arms, at last we are going to drink together again.

Wench, bring some ale. There are thirsty dwarves here, and you don't want to keep 'em waiting.
Now, if only we could find that little lass, .... what was her name again?
*scratches his head*

---------------------------

Eli takes Rolo's hand and shakes it, limply. "Friends? Yes, of course, friends it is."

Looking around, he saw everyone making for the Inn.

"Perhaps we should join the others?" he suggested.

--------------------------

Rolo’s small smile turned into a big grin, “Aye! Indeed! For if I know those dwur half as well as I think I do, we best not be late if’n we want something to drink with our meal!”

Rolo quickened his pace to keep up with his tall new friend as they headed toward the tavern.

-------------------------

The merchant prices are of course way too much for all of them and the warrior just shakes his head and sighs, able to only to dream to buy something here. Some people just don’t get it; they pretend to become rich with one or two operations, instead of selling a lot of things for a cheaper price. The final outcome, none bought anything, and worse of it, probably won’t in the future, unless the merchant changes his prices. In any case, the invitation to dinner sounds appealing and not losing time the priest accepted and join his fellows in arms heading to the inn. There, without saying too much, he takes a sit with the others and order the first meal since the horrendous trip they had.

======================

The party enjoyed a feast hosted by the merchant Mendel. He's offered a 200 gp per member retainer in exchange for first right of purchase on any artifacts the party may recover from the legendary wizards tower that they choose not to keep for personal use. He and his entourage have headed off to their suite and the party has broken up with some returning to their rooms and others remaining to enjoy the open bar tab. Mendel's expecting an answer from you in the morning.

-------------------------

“I have a very uneasy feeling about all of this … and I don’t like it.” Rolo said in a soft voice to those who had remained behind after Mendel and his entourage had departed for their rooms. “And I don’t think I much like Mendel either …”

“I mean, look at the guy … obviously he has a very high profit margin; flaunts it even! I wouldn’t trust him any further than I could toss him; and I’m not certain I could even pick him up!”

"He obviously knows something about this tower and what he expects us to find inside; else he wouldn’t be wanting to pay coin up front to “retain” our services. I’ve seen his prices, both buying and selling … and I can tell you HIS idea of “fair” price is nowhere near to my idea of “fair” price. If he thinks for a mere 200 gold coins each he can get exclusive rights to purchase things that he knows we will not use, then he has sorely underestimated Rolo Underfoot! I am sure he is thinking he will get his “fee” back with the first purchase any of you make at his “shop” – trust me in this. And if we are not allowed to determine the “fair” value of anything we find, by offering it to others who may be interested, then we are no smarter than that lamb that was in that soup he served tonight."

"I say we pass on his “generous” offer (to him anyway) and if we do find this tower and these scrolls and books he is after, then we let him offer his “fair” price for the items. I am certain it will be “fairer” if he is competing against others for the items. True, he claims to have clients willing to purchase such things, which may be to his advantage over the local merchants who may not be as willing to purchase those items – but at least we still retain the right of “refusal to sell” – always a useful bargaining tool. I believe we will more than make up the difference of his “retaining” fee; and even if we don’t, we still maintain control of the “negotiations”."

----------------------

Grumni looked uncertain.

"I'm inclined ter agree. I'm not liking his prices at all. Once I make an agreement I stick to it and I don't like the idea of being obligated ter that penny pincher."

He picked a few crumbs from his beard thoughtfully.

"I'm wondering if he's trying ter keep us from sorting out that necromancer too. He's delayed us with that fancy meal and now the scoundrel's trying ter send us on some wild goose chase fer a wandering tower."

The dwarf looked back towards the bar sneakily.

"I say we set off early before his scummy band finish sleeping off their drinking and whoring." He said in a whisper.

----------------------------

Barrin shrugged and started packing up his gear. "I don trust that 'uman as far as I can throw 'im either. I be thinkin he be wantin first grabs at our stuff 'cause there be somethin or 'nother he be wantin from that tower. Fact he not be tellin us what it is makes me wary. 'e can be keepin 'is money, we not be needin it that badly." He frowned and finished packing. "I be ready."

----------------------------

Grumni nodded, his mind made up.

"I got all me gear ready. We should get the rest outta their beds. I'm thinking we might have ter carry Rand though. Them humans can't take their liquor." He whispered, stifling a laugh.

--------------------------------

Rolo carefully packed his "adventuring kit", frowning at the meager collection of supplies.

"Aye, it be good to just let him think about his proposal a bit longer. I'm along the same lines as Grumni … I prefer to keep my commitments; and would rather not obligate myself to something so uncertain. Anyways, it's not like 200 gold was going to get much from his shop anyway – and we seem to have enough to get what we need from the local merchants."

"Right … I’m ready when you all are."

----------------------------------

Rand snores through the night, oblivious to all the talk of sneaking out early.
When he is woken up and told of the situation, he starts to protest. However, after seeing so many in favor of leaving without the 200 gold, he shuts up and packs his gear. During which he can be heard to mumble something about the stables only having an ox available.
"This shoots my whole keg on a donkey idea all to crap.", he raises his voice at nobody in particular.

After a few minutes he states, "Alright, I'm ready as I ever will be." He looks quite unhappy, but your not sure if it's about the merchant or the stables lack of occupants.

============================
The scene opens with the advance party camped in the cave entrance to the necromancer's lair, having sortied in and cleared the first chamber. The others will be linking with them there, but may choose to gather supplies and/or information in the keep, or along the way, before doing so.

----------------------------

As the others gathered up their gear, Barrin ran back to his room to get something he forgot. When he came back to the inn's main room, he saw the others had already left. "Blast them!" he yelled. "Why canna they wait fer me? They be in that type o' a hurry?" He grumbled and shouldered his pack before heading out the door. "Well, I best be gettin some healin kits, I be afraid that we be needin 'em soon 'nough."

----------------------------

Rolo selected a spot where he could sit with his back to the rock wall while keeping an eye (and an ear) on the entrance to the cave. He carefully inspected the dagger that had been recovered from the skeletons, feeling its weight and balance, admiring its edge and quality of construction. He could sense the faint enchantments that were on the blade and knew that this dagger was a very good find indeed.

“This is a quality blade we’ve found Rand! It may not be very big, but I’m thinking it will slip through defenses a normal blade won’t. But, you are correct in that it should go to whoever has the most “use” for it. I “can” use it; certainly “would” use it if the situation warranted; but honestly, I’d rather be using my sling, if’n I have a choice.” Rolo rubbed the side of his head where the Owl Bear skeleton had clocked him earlier nearly sending him to a grave of his own. “If’n I’m using this dagger, I’m probably too close.”

“I have a reg’lar short sword that I can use in emergencies if there is another who would actually prefer to use this dagger. And with a bit of luck, perhaps we’ll find more … where there is one, there are bound to be others ….”

“And, you know that whoever is inside that cave, knows we are here and looking for them – and they have taken precautions: skeleton guards, trapped doors, quality weapons …. We need to proceed with caution. Hopefully, the others will recuperate from last night’s dinner and arrive soon … we could certainly use them here.”

------------------------------------

Grumni Stared into the empty blackness of the cave mouth with concern.

"Those were some damn big skeletons back there, barely had time to get off any spells before they was upon us." He frowned. "Must've taken some fierce magic ter animate them. I'm not liking the odds fer the three of us getting the job done." With a shiver the dwarf turned back to his companions.

Pacing back and forth he continued his grumbling.

"We'll have ter hope the others ain't too far behind. Best be getting rid of that an all" He mused looking at the gnoll corpse nearby. Grumni dragged the stinking thing to the side of the hill and kicked it over nodding in satifisfaction and the resulting thud below.

---------------------------------------

Aye, I noticed that dagger has some potential. I just don't fancy swinging that at anything we might find in this canyon.
Let me use my sword, I'll feel more manly about it. And won't look like a bard doing it.
*looks at Grumni when he returns without the gnoll*
I wonder if we shouldn't have burned that one as well. I'm starting to like the idea of burning every dead body. *points at the owlbear skeletons.* Although, I think Jess is starting to think I stink. Seriously.
And if Barrin and the others decide to sleep in any longer, I'm gonna knock some heads when I see 'em.

--------------------------

"We should call that Barrin Sleepy." Grumni grinned.

------------------------

He stares north and south, glancing into the distance, trying to find the trace of the rest of the group, but it is not a hunter. Nevertheless he is determined to find the rest of the group, not that he is fond to them, but with the last events and being alone on this hostile land, the best is to be with a group in order to stay alive. And who knows, eventually they might become friends. In any case, the best is to hurry and try to catch up, unless of course they just left leaving him behind.

Walking fast but always keeping keen eye over the surroundings, ready for the worse, not an easy task. After some time of walking sees on the distance a cave, what a novelty, this land is full of those, but being tired and in need of a pause, the priest decide to test his luck and find out if the rest of the group is inside it.

-------------------------

Grumni scanned the horizon for signs of both friend or foe. He shivered in the cool night and sneakily took a swig from a small silver brandy flask.

"I hope them darn fool pilgrims and that merchant point the rest of the lads in the right direction or we could be in fer a long wait or a short battle."

---------------------

Eli quickened his pace as he glanced at the position of the sun. With the beat of his staff hitting the ground as he walked along, he could be heard muttering something about the impatience of small folk.

===========================

The scene opens on the party camped out in the personal chambers of the slain heads of the hidden temple. Several important lieutenants - an evil paladin, assassin, a couple of lesser priests - have been also dispatched. A necromancer has thus far eluded you though and remains at large. Notes recovered indicate the temple was in the process of bringing all the caverns under it's sway. What will happen now that you've cut off the head of the organization, is anyone's guess.

------------------------------

Rolo searched through his pack trying to find something to combat the dizziness and general lack of awareness that seemed to be plaguing him at the moment. He recalled the rest of the group catching up with them at the cave entrance and then entering the cavern and chambers seeking a Necromancer. But, after that, things started getting fuzzy … he knew there had been fights, bodies were everywhere as proof of that, but he didn’t recall much of most of them … except this last one. It had been difficult to see what was happening as he had been largely trapped behind the mass of animated bones that met the group at the entrance, but it seemed that there were some in this chamber that were not dead … or undead as the case may be, before they had arrived. The group had dispatched these folks with relative ease … but the one they were after did not appear to be among the casualties. Finding an old, but edible piece of hard bread that he hoped would do the trick, Rolo found a comfortable spot and began nibbling at it.

“So, now what do you think we should do?” he asked, looking toward Grumni.

-------------------------

Taking Rolo's idea, Rand dug out a stale crust of Trail Bread. Leaning against the wall he reflected on how the day had gone.
They were able to defeat many undead. Probably most of the army they anticipated having to fight.
Plus, they took down a couple of 'champioins' of the evil cult. In all likelyhood, the high priest as well. Praise the gods we were able to get our hands on some serious loot today. I think we can actually retire, if we make it back that is. It seems the cult was seeking some kind of powerful artifact under the caves. Sounded like it was not too far from where we are right now.
*looks at Barrin and Grumni*
Those two will probably insist we go looking for it too, he thought to himself.
About this time Rand noticed Rolo looking to Grumni for an answer of some type. So Rand found himself looking at Grumni for an answer as well.

--------------------------------

Barrin sat and leaned against a wall as he cleaned off the shiny new ax he had liberated from the cold, dead fingers of its former master. He mumbled something about foolish humans and their love of undead things. He started slightly at the sound of Rolo's words and looked at the halfling. "What we be doin now, lad? Why, we be gettin' back ta the keep so we can be gettin' rid o' some o' this stuff. Maybe then we be comin back ta find that undead lover and send 'im back ta 'is God. 'cept he'd prolly be runnin if'n we do leave. Still, we be cuttin off the head o' the snake, hopefully 'nother won't be growing in its place."

----------------------------

"Guess we're knowing Barrin's feelings on the matter." Grumni said acknowledging his fellow dwarf.

He sat propped against his backpack and surveyed the walls thoughtfully.

"I'm thinking we ain't found the last of them secret doors lads, the place is full of 'em. Probably how that necromancer keeps slipping out of our grasp." The dwarf cocked his head to one side and listened with a frown.

"Heading back ter the keep makes good sense but I don't like the idea of giving that evil magicker time to regroup and get reinforcements. Could be we come back ter find a zombie army waiting fer us." He took a swig of ale from his flask.

"I'm more inclined ter keep going while we've got the corpse lover on the run but maybe its time fer a vote."

-----------------------------

"I vote we get more ale." Licks his lips thirstily as he watches Grumni swallow the liquid gold.

Gets up and moves over by the dwarf, sitting close by him.

"Um, hey, Grumni, you don't happen to have any more of ale, do ye?"

------------------------

Rolo chuckled at Rand’s comment. “Aye, I be leaving the ale to you folks fer the time being; but I am concerned about the fact I have no healing kits left … and while my heart tells me that Grumni is right and we should press this guy while we’ve got him on the defensive, my head is telling me we need to be prepared, and I’m thinking we may be a bit thin on the supplies at the moment.”

“Perhaps a quick return to the keep to sell or store this collection of books and armor and weapons we’ve accumulated and stock up on some good healing supplies and then come back fully prepared would be our best course of action. With most of his officers removed, I doubt our necromancer will be able to do much in the way of fortification … he may decide to take the opportunity to leave this place, if he hasn’t done so already.”

----------------------------

Looks at Rolo, but still keeping an eye on Grumni to see if he has an extra ale with him.
"Rolo," Rand licks his lips, *I know we have him on the rum." Stops, looks at Grumni, "Hey, you don't have any rum, do ya?"

Looks back at Rolo, blankly.

"Oh, yeah, the corpse wizard. We got the advantage. If'n he's smart, he'll be skadaddling out of the area. But, if not, he'll be on us like a stirge on cattle when we return. I have a few kits left, mind you, only a few. If we can clean up this little mess, then head to Kendall Keep, all the better. And let's not forget about burning these bodies. Less bodies when we leave, the less we'll have to fight if we don't find that swamp scum wizard." Looks at Eli, "No offense, Eli."

Looks back to Grumni, "Now come on, can't you spare a dreg of that for me? I'm your ol' buddy Rand."

----------------------------

Gruni stopped mid-swig and frowned at Rand's comment. He took one more gulp then wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. He took a small tin cup from his pack and carefully poured a small measure of ale into it.

"That's me family's secret recipe, it'll take the head off of most dwarves let alone a lightweight human. Me grandad once lost the use of his tongue fer a month after having a few too many. There's some that use it fer stripping paint" He raised a bushy eyebrow. "You've been warned. I ain't carrying yer if yer go blind neither." With that he handed Rand the fearsome brew. The gauntlet had been thrown down.

---------------------------------------

"Of course you are right, Rand. Hate to miss an opportunity or lose an advantage once gained. Perhaps we should take a quick inventory of our healing kits, to see what we have on hand at the moment?"

Rolo watches with interest as Grumni measures out a small portion of his 'Family’s Special Brew' for Rand. "Best go easy fer starters Rand … they say that dwur ale be pretty potent … and I know I can’t carry you if’n you can’t stand or walk straight … what with all these books and all -- heh." And he gives a quick glance in Eli's direction...

----------------------------------

Rand ignores Rolo and reaches eagerly for the tin cup. Once in his hands he downs the liquid refreshment.
As the beverage travels down his throat, his eyes open wide, then a bit wider.
Finally his eyes seem to distend from his eye sockets.


As tears roll down his cheeks, he says. "........"
Rand tries to clear his throat, but no sound emerges.

He looks worriedly at Grumni.

Remorseful, Rand sits back on the chamber floor, shaking his head.

------------------------------------

Barrin watched Rand and Grunli exchange Dwarven ale with a blank expression. He shook his head as he watched Rand down the ale. He glanced at Rand as he slumped against the wall and walked over to Grunli. "Got any more o' that ale, lad? Could be usin some if'n we be dealin' with undead things."

---------------------------------

Grumni rolled around the floor holding his sides and howling with laughter. Tears ran down his cheeks. After a few minutes he managed to compose himself long enough to throw Barrin the small flask of potent brew. Then he burst out laughing once more.

-----------------------------------

While listening to the rest of the group, the priest slide his hand on his pockets, which are almost empty, that feeling of bankrupt is overwhelming.

I don’t know you, but I don’t have much gold, not even to buy enough ale for a dwarf.

The priest winks to them dwarves.

I don’t want to sound materialist… well, actually I do. Anyway, if we leave we might skip some loot and profit from this cave. And even if we decide to return, situation could be different, either others might come and take what we earned or worse yet, the place gets populated with new undead.

But it is then when he notices the reaction of one of the dwarves with certain brew, and unsure of what is going on and if he should laugh or try to cure the victim of that mysterious drink (will remain like that for him because he has no intention to taste it), hesitating speaks.

Have… have you thought on using that thing as a weapon? Perhaps if we throw it to the undead while they still walk, and then tosses a match or some fire, they might burn to ashes?

The priest smiles.

--------------------------------

Grumni wiped the tears from his eyes.

"Folks have tried ter use it as a weapon lad, the Hammersith firebomb is a dangerous expolosive." He looked down at his beard thougtfully.

"Its only as a last resort though, me uncle Crungle threw one once just as the wind changed direction. The explosion blew off his beard and eyebrows. They still call him baldy 30 years on."

=============================

Scene opens on the party reunited at The One-Eyed Cat Tavern.

The place is a buzz with news of the return of Arpad, the missing daughter of the cooper, rescued from the necromancer's lair. Several other former prisoners, rested and recovered under the care of the pilgrims, have also returned to the keep and shared stories of their capture, and rescue by the party.

During your dinner, which seems to be on the house tonight, Jadale, commander of the local militia, stops by your table and requests you pay a visit to the castellian in the morning to a report on your discoveries.

Mendel arrives a bit later than usual, settles in at his customary corner table and seems to be dealing with his books over dinner. One of his guards wanders over and asks you to pay him a visit at your convenience, before turning in for the evening.

D'Amberville, the local scribe, who's accompanied you once before, arrives part way thru your meal and asks with a smile,

So, I hear you recovered quite a library. Might I have the opportunity to examine what you recovered?

--------------------------

Grumni paused, a half eaten chicken leg in his hand and belched loudly.

"Yer too late lad." He said to the scribe. "Its first come-first-served if the price is right fer treasure." He continued.

"You'll need ter speak ter yonder penny pincher if yer want to be seeing those tomes." He pointed to Mendel. "You'll probably be needing deep pockets mind." With that he attacked the remaining chicken with relish.

--------------------------

D'Amberville visibly grimaces.

You, you, sold all of them to HIM?

Clearly crestfallen, he turns and wanders off, talking to himself under his breath.

------------------------------

As they were waiting for the meal to arrive, Rolo pulled out a small, well-worn journal bound in soft black leather from his vest pocket as well as a small scribe of wood with a pointed end that he used to record things in his book. To his list of things to buy which already included ‘Healing Kits’ and ‘Iron Rations’, he added ‘Potions of Restoration’ and thinking a bit more, added ‘Ale for Rand’ to the bottom of the list with a small chuckle to himself. Putting the book and scribe back in his pocket, he looked at the others sitting around the table.

“I was hoping Eli would be here, but perhaps he is resting, or recharging, or whatever it is they do when they aren’t doing something else. Any ways, by my accounting, I received something on the order of 1200 coins so far – but that includes a portion of Eli’s share. So, perhaps to save us all a bunch of figuring, I’m thinking Rand here can hold back 1200 coins from his haul for Eli, and then divvy the remainder 6 ways to make it even for all – assuming he has 1200 coins worth of spoils to divide up. Does that make any sense?”

***Later, during the meal as D’Amberville is leaving …***

“Hey, wait a minute, come back here Mr. D’Amberville. We haven’t sold all of them … in fact, I’m not at all certain we have sold any of them to Mendel.” Rolo states matter-of-factly to D’Amberville. “As it happens, I was just pondering my intention to be rid of a rather large pile of them before heading off to finish this business we’ve seemed to have gotten involved in. I’d be happy to show you what I have; but mind you, Eli has first rights, as he is the one who requested to keep them.”

“Oh, and I think there may be more if’n you know how to go about getting them out of a hole we found? Not an ordinary hole mind you, but a magical one … one that you can take with you …” Rolo studies the face of the scribe for any indication of comprehension concerning the discussion of the portable hole and the unreachable treasures inside.

-----------------------------

D'Amberville turns with a puzzled look and slowly walks back to the table

So, you do, or do not have tomes recovered I might be able to peruse? If so, perhaps we can come to some arrangement?

As for the magical hole, I'm not all that familiar with them. I suppose though, you might free the contents if you can dispell the magic somehow. It would probably require a rather powerful wizard to do that though; that's beyond my skills at this point.

-----------------------------

“Yes, yes. As I said, I do have a pile of those books. All about Transfigurin’ or Transmogrifyin’, or Transformin’ or -morphin’, or whatever. More than I’m going to pack around much longer, that is for sure!”

“Anyways, I’ve got to get the ok from Eli before I can offer ‘em to you; but just wanted you to know that we’ve not forgotten you. Grumni here knew I was wantin’ to lighten my load some and assumed that I’d sold them to Mendel over there, seeing he was offering a fair sum of money for ‘em …” Rolo smiles at the scribe.

“Interesting thought on the magical hole … I expect something like that if’n it worked, would also render the hole useless though …” Rolo sighs with a small frown.

----------------------------

D'Amberville stroked this chin

Perhaps a study of some of the tomes might provide some clues to this hole? I could check the small library I possess as well, though it might take me a few days. Beyond that, you best best would be to visit a sage, perhaps in Keoland, Ulek, or Celene, as I doubt there are such to be found in Yoemanry.

---------------------------

Grumni shrugged and shovelled some potatos into his mouth. He looked thoughtful as he took another gulp of ale.

"I think Moradin would grant me the spell ter dispell magic if I was ter ask. Maybe that'll have an effect on that dumb hole?"

---------------------------

D'Amberville shook his head

Such magic is usually quite powerful and would likely require the skills of a master wizard, though I suppose you've nothing to lose by calling on your god.

--------------------------------------

“And here I was hoping it might be something simple such as turning it upside down and giving it a good shake or two and seeing what falls out … hoping there wasn’t anything in there better left inside … if you get my meaning.”

“By the way, where do things go when they are inside? Grumni had fallen into it earlier and we managed to save him with a rope … but he was able to climb back out … doubt that works on books.”

-------------------------------

D'Amberville pondered a bit

I've heard various theories; some say it's a pocket on another plane, while others insist another dimension entirely. In some cases, things entering are destroyed. In others, they survive.

Who can tell for sure?

--------------------------------

Barrin slumped tiredly into an empty chair and rubbed his face. The trek had been long, but fruitful. He ordered an ale and the chicken and yawned as it arrived. He shook himself and dug in with gusto, the rumbling of his belly drowning out the smacking of his lips. As the scribe approached the table, Barrin glanced at him before returning to his meal. He looked at the others as they parlayed with the scribe, but said not a word.

----------------------------------

The young priest shakes his head, not quite disappointed, already expected something like that, but things don’t look simple.

A pocket to another plane? I’ve heard only rumors of such things; I don’t even have a clear idea of what that might be? Is there any way to find out that, another plane or a dimension?

The priest says the last words almost as a faint whisper, uncertain of what that possible mean. Being a simple man, devoted to his faith, things of the magical order are beyond his comprehension.

-----------------------------

I don't care what you call it, it makes a nice hole in the ground. I was hoping Rolo and I could maybe lay it out as a trap. Maybe we can catch that evil dead lady in it. *smirks*
Yeah, no love lost there. I wouldn't mind throwing the damned thing in the sea, if she were in it.
*smiles, quite happy with himself now that he has a plan for the 'hole' in his pack*

-----------------------------

Rolo's eyes lit up at Rand's suggestion. "Yes! Exactly! There must be a million and one uses for such a thing -- which, is why I would really like to have a better understanding of exactly what it does."

"I was thinking ... if it is a "hole" and you put it up on a wall, could you walk through the wall and come out the other side? How about if you are in a room with another room just beneath it; if you put it on the floor of the upper room, would you fall into the room below? The possibilities of such a thing a endless!"

"hmm ... perhaps by putting the thing on the floor of an upstairs room, all the stuff inside will fall to the floor of the one below it ... we might want to give that a try Rand."

-----------------------------

Grumni raised an eyebrow.

"Well I ain't getting in no hole again! Best ter stick ter stuffing necromancers in it."

-----------------------------

Eli came into the tavern with a very odd looking creature in tow. The patrons of the Inn turned in their seats, while others stood up as if ready to take flight. The creature was circular in shape with many eyes on stalks around the body, which appeared to float in the air. There were some that cried "Beholder!" to which the young mage turned his head and replied,

"Indeed not! Its nothing of the sort. It looks like one but I assure you its quite tame. However, I won't advise any sudden movements or gestures towards it.....just in case. You understand."

He walked over to the gathered party and put a heavy looking sack on the floor.

"My dear D'Amberville, it good to see you. Your just the man I came to see."

Turning to the others he said, "I'm sorry about my prolonged absence but I felt I had to return to the Academy with these books just in case they might be more important than I expected. I got some of my old professors to have a look through them and they assured me that, while rare, their contents were not that unusual."

The others seemed to be listening, but all their eyes were on the creature floating three feet behind Eli. With a sigh, he continued to speak, looking at the Keep's resident Mage.

"With the permission of the Academy, I can offer the books for sale to you at a reasonable price, should you want them. Individually, their price might not be great, but the opportunity to obtain the entire collection at once makes them more valuable."

Rolo piped up, "Where did you get the Beholder Eli?"

Eli's shoulders sagged. "Its not a true Beholder, Rolo, it merely looks like one. I had him ever since I enrolled at the Academy but I thought it prudent to leave him behind while I came to the Keep. However, on further reflection, I see that was an error on my part, given the nature of current events. Therefore, I rectified that when I had the chance."

The two dwarfs sat there shaking their heads as if not really believing what they were seeing. Barrin spoke first. "That creature, 'tis tame you say. It have a name?"

Eli's expression changed slightly and a wry smile appeared. "Why yes, Barrin, it does. I call him Furball."

The creature didn't appeared to have any external hair, never mind fur. There were snorts and gales of laughter at that remark. Someone said, "Furball?? Where did you get that name from?"

Eli merely smiled and said, "You'll see."

-------------------------------------

DM's Comment:

The keep is much too far away from any major city with a mages' guild or academy that Eli could've made such a trip in the time he missed. You may, however, consider him to have consulted with the visiting mage staying at the Guild House, the one the party did the frog hunting mission for earlier.

Also, I'm not sure exactly which books Eli had in his possession as he missed the session during which most of these were acquired, as I remember.

------------------------------------

"Just keep that one-eyed balloon away from me or I'll poke it in the eye with me fork." Grumni mumbled. He looked around conspiratorially.

"Best ter keep yer voice down too, we want that penny pincher ter pay us as much as we can get. He'll not part with coin if he overhears they aint anything special."

----------------------------------

Barrin looked up from his plate to see what all of the commotion was about. He stuck his fork at the floating eyeball, "What the blazes is that thing? It be lookin like a Beholder had little 'uns. Ye best be keepin it 'way from me food, finger wrangler, or it be me desert."

--------------------------------

Grumni's expression turned to disgust.

"All the custard in the world ain't going to make that tasty."

-------------------------------

"'Furball', eh? Well, whatever; I guess if it is yours you can call it what you like ... and if it answers all the better." Rolo said with a shrug.

"What does it do anyway? Can it talk? Can it fetch things out of holes? Heh."

***OOC***
I'm pretty sure Eli was there when the books were acquired -- as Rolo is packing a set at his request ... at least I think Eli was the one who didn't want any of them left behind.

==============================

The party has made it's way back to the Hidden Temple and is taking a brief break to rest up before entering back into the crypts.

--------------------------------------

"Well, you all better pull your pants up, we're about to meet the dead lady again."

After this brazen announcement, he takes time to look over his companions. After meeting each ones gaze, he can't help but grin.

"Maybe she should watch out for us, eh?"

--------------------------------------

Barrin sat with his back against one of the tomb walls while he poked through his pack. "So we be goin ta fight that woman who be thinkin she be a Goddess, huh? I can only hope we be havin 'nough kits ta keep everyone healthy, though I doubt there be 'nough kits fer that. Guess we be findin out soon 'nough."

---------------------------------------

Rand nods to Barrin. Then looks at Rolo.

"Do you think you can sneak to the bottom of the throne steps and put this 'hole' down? I'm thinking that if we can get her to chase us, and she falls in. We'll know because she won't be bothering us with her spells anymore. Then we can just come back and pick up the hole and toss it in the sea."

Looks at the others.

"I know it's not much of a plan, but I haven't heard any others, ... yet."

Waits while everyone thinks it over.

----------------------------

Rolo looks at Rand with a gleam in is eye. "Aye, I might be able to -- depends what sort of vision she has though I reckon. Can't hurt to try I expect."

"The one 'problem' that I foresee, is that the hole isn't "invisible" ... she would see it as soon as I opened it up ... or rather not see the floor that is now a hole ... erm, well you know what I mean."

"I'm also thinking that will likely blow any advantage of 'stealth' I may have had ... and she can control my mind like nothing!"

"I might be able to fashion some traps from these knuckle bones as well -- but if she is not a living being, then the trap will likely not work as intended -- might actually help her. Of course, setting the trap is also something that she would likely detect if she was half way alert ... no helpin' that really."

"What we really need is some way to make her visible ... and protect us from her mind control. Eli, Grumni, any thoughts?"

He looks at the mage and dwur a moment and then adds as an afterthought ...

"And perhaps the Castellian is correct. We might want to focus our efforts on clearing out any remaining followers first -- might weaken her to where she is easier to handle? And perhaps we will come across something that will help us. We still need to find a key to that secret door we found earlier ... save the best for last so to speak?"

---------------------------------------------

Eli nodded at Rolo's remarks. "Indeed Rolo, that's a wise idea. Better to clip her wings first, so to speak."

Rubbing his chin thoughtfully he turned to Rand.

"Hoping this Mage will fall into the portable hole doesn't sound like a very practical plan. However, I am at a lost as to the best course of action to deal with her undoubted superiority in the Arcane Arts. The only thing that comes to mind is that it would be better if she didn't get a chance to cast spells at all!"

-----------------------------------------

The hob's face broke into a grin that was ear-to-ear as Eli praised his "wise thinking" ... but, faded just as quickly at the mage's closing remarks that there seemed to be no obvious way to deal with that creature at the altar.

"Keeping her from casting spells ... would a "Silence" be enough you think? Perhaps if one were cast on me, I could sneak in close enough to have it affect her as well? ... assuming I could see her of course ... and she doesn't see me until it is too late."

"I'm just a bit worried that she may not be 'tied' to that altar as much as I'd like to hope ... and having her come along while we were battling her minions would not be a good thing ... we should have some sort of plan for dealing with her if necessary."

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Re: Online Roleplay Thread

Post by Karvon » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:19 pm

Eli looked around at the others as they sat in the Inn at the Keep. Some were looking worse for wear after their all day session at the bar the day before. Eli cleared his throat and began to speak.

"Well, ahem, you'll be pleased to know that Rolo, Rand and I found the location of the mysterious Tower." He paused a moment to wait for a reaction and then continued.
"We also know when it will appear again, so, should we decide to see where it goes when it disappears, we will be able to."

-------------------------

"Aye, indeed we did!" Rolo exclaimed, his head nodding up and down.

"It is an interesting place ... another place actually ... not a tower at all ... only looks like one from outside. There were grounds and a wall and lots of big bugs in there ... but you can't "see" the place you entered from. I didn't wander very far before I realized that there was no reference to guide me back to where I had started ... perhaps I was fortunate to be able to come back out the way I went in. We might want to pack a lunch or two before we decide to go back there ... just in case."

--------------------------

"What a waste of time these ruins did not have anything of interest. No traces of the lost race called Gelfling, no book about Acererak or Keraptis or Vecna. No rare plants that could be used somehow. By Obad-Hai why did we go there again?"

The large wolf looked at the gnome speaking for a moment and left to chase a rabbit.

"Oz come back, we must leave this place at once."

The gnome looked around for a sign perhaps. "Should we go this way?"

-----------------------------

Barrin looked up from his ale. "Oi? Ye found the tower? What'd ye find 'sides some bugs? It be a place we should be lookin in?"

----------------------------

Rolo tuned toward at the dwur.

"Well, I actually didn't see much of the place. I had seen Rand's foot go right through the steps as he was trying to get to the door, and was thinking the whole thing might be an illusion of sorts. So I decided to just walk through the tower wall and see what was inside ..."

"I was expecting to be "inside" a tower ... or at least still on the hill where the tower appeared at the very least ... but I wasn't. I found myself in another place ... outside a wall, but the kind that surrounds an estate; not a tower. There was a gate nearby and I went to take a look inside. It was grounds of some sort, I believe there was a structure in the distance, and I want to say there was a graveyard of sorts nearby; but there were LOTs of rather large beetles wandering about and being alone, I was ... er, "felt" that perhaps I should rejoin the others."

"That was when I noticed, there was nothing showing me where I had "entered" the place from. So I carefully tried to retrace my steps and return to the place where I had entered and found myself back on the hill with Rand and Eli here!"

"It wasn't much longer after that and the whole thing vanished into the mists from which it came."

Rolo was unable to suppress a shiver, and took a rather long pull from his mug of ale.

----------------------

Grumni wore a mask of confusion.

"A tower that's a tower but isn't actually a tower?" He scratched his head. "Are yer sure yer didn't bang yer head or something?" He took a swig of ale thoughtfully.

"Yer didn't smoke any of them weird roots I saw them pilgrims smoking did yer?" The dwarf continued with a raised eyebrow.

------------------------

Rand listens to Rolo tell his story. Then listens to the reactions.

"I believe him!

He said there were bugs in there.
I know what to do to bugs.

I say let's pack a lunch and see what's what for ourselves."

-----------------------------

"hmmm ..." The hob stroked his chin as he contemplated Grumni's question.

"No, didn't bang my head and wasn't smoking anything, or anything of the sort. There was that mist everywhere though ... perhaps it was affecting my mind?"

"It seemed real enough! Once inside or wherever it was that I went, I could not see Eli or Rand anymore ... and judging from their reaction when I returned, they couldn't see me either -- I must have went somewhere."

"No, I think the place was real, just not "here" ... sort of like the inside of that hole Rand has. You think it might be the inside of another of those portable holes? Hmmm, I wonder what would happen if we tried to use that hole in there ... do you think it would even work? I wonder if we can even take it in?" Rolo finished his ale and set the empty mug down as he pondered the ramifications of his latest thoughts.

====================

As the party bartered with the fat merchant, Barrin rummaged through his pack. "Once ye get the money situated, I be needin me share. I only be havin two kits and they not be near 'nough. With one, I can bring most of ye back to almost full health provided I not be distracted by fightin. And with two, I can patch us all up; so I'd like ta carry 'least ten or more whenever possible. 'Sides, the fat merchant may have somethin or 'nother I could be usin. That and the priest has some good potions that'll get rid of that bird sickness."

------------------------------

"Well Barrin, I've got 2 bags of gold with your name on it and a few more coins to boot ... total of 607 coins. Same with Eli ... as soon as you two get a free moment, I'll be glad to let you spend it or pack it ... rather heavy actually."

------------------------------

"Yeah, I need some of them there heal kits as well. I had to use one of my good ones from the Castellan. After seeing Mendel's price for one of the good ones, I think I'll be saving that last one for a really, really dire situation.

But, yeah, need more kits and stuff."


*goes back to drinking his ale*

-------------------------------

* with the others still in front of the merchant stand *

"I hate to sound negative... really. I am really happy to have met you all as only a few days ago I had nothing left following an unexpected incident. Now, you made me rich, that's good right? Except that there is no way I am going to carry twice my weight in gold. Do you really expect an under fifty pounds adventurer to handle that much weight with a smile?"

----------------------------------

"I can take some of that gold off'n your hands. If that's what you want."
Rand grins mischeviously at the gnome.

---------------------------------

* look a bit suspicious *

"Ah yes Rand but... Can I trust you with my fortune?" * looking at Rolo * " How do you manage? We are about the same size and all or at least it seems to me. Or are you one of these tough hobbit able lift a horse?"

* look worried *

"Seen any large canis lupus around? Or did the bugger found a rabbit hole? Wait, was he eaten by those big spider? Noooo"

--------------------------

Barrin looked at Rand, then at the Gnome before frowning. "Don listen ta 'im, lad. If'n ye give 'im yer coin, 'e'll just spend it on booze and women if'n he be gettin the chance. Best if ye just find a way ta carry it or give it ta 'nother."

-----------------------------

Eli heard the exchanges going on behind him but he didn't join in as his eyes were fixed on a shiny new crossbow at the merchant's stall. The price was very steep but the workmanship was of a high quality. With so many animals and undead about, he thought it prudent to supplement his magical abilities with a more mechanical item.

-----------------------------

*gives Barrin a stare, before turning to Spring*
"You didn't say anything about wanting it back. I was just gonna take it off your hands."

-------------------------------

"Don't be forgetting them healing kits lads. Me short dwarven legs're getting tired of all this wandering. Yonder cobbler's making a fortune out of fixing the soles of me boots and I'd rather spend the coin on ale than shoe leather."

-------------------

"Spring, my fine gnomish friend, indeed the bulk of these coins can be a burden best left to others; however, there are things lighter than gold, smaller, and easier to pack!"

Rolo pulls out one of the trade markers and shows it to Spring. "This is what is known as a trade marker and it can be easily converted into coins at most any merchant I believe. You can get them at the Merchant's Guild -- I can show where it is if you like."

"Now then, there is a 10% fee for converting to these, so if'n you want something and have the coin for it, best buy it now. These things come in different values, so you should plan accordingly; because once you convert one, I'm pretty sure any change due you will be in coin."

"Of course gems work as well, but you may find it more difficult finding a merchant willing to give you a fair price, when you need it."

"Oh! And by the way, I have a nice magical dagger perhaps you'd like -- I can use a mace just as well; but you may prefer a smaller weapon ... not so good for bone bashing, but easier to pack."

-------------------------

"10% fee!" Grumni spluttered. "A thieving racket if I ever heard of one." He shook his head in iritation.

====================

The party has made camp in the old antechamber after slaying the skeletal guards. The runes found near the caved in passage are in very archaic Dwarven. Based on references in captured notes and documents, you deduce this is the mentioned tunnel leading to a long lost Dwarven citadel. It appears the undead were being used to excavate the collapsed passage. The work has yet to be completed and it's difficult to judge how much passage must yet be cleared.

-----------------------

Rolo surveyed the collapsed tunnel. "You know, trying to clear this with these dead things isn't likely the best way. What is needed is a team of dwur engineers -- that would get the job done proper like!"

"Or ... perhaps a Bullette? Suppose we can control one of those things? Eli, what do you think? Or Spring, you may have some influence there as well. Course we still need to find the Bullette ... but we know where to look, eh?!"

The hob chuckled to himself as he found a comfortable place to sit and started rummaging through his pack -- looking for a bit of trail-mix that he was certain he had packed earlier.

-----------------------

Barrin sat down against the stone wall heavily and eyed the passage. "I don think that be a good idea, lad. I think if'n we can be gettin rid of that dead lover an' 'is mistress, we can be diggin out this tunnel without interruption." He dug around his pack for an iron ration and ate in silence.

----------------------

Grumni examined the collapsed tunnel carefully with a thoughtful expression.

"Didn't we hear some business about these villains setting up camp in an ancient dwarven citadel a whiles back?" He looked down at the rune. "Could be its best this tunnel stays collapsed if it keeps them down there."

-------------------

"Nay, Grumni.
They were trying to get to the lost citadel so they could plunder its loot. Which is rumored to include a mighty artifact. Now, if it's another one of them Horns of Undead, then we're wasting our time. I'd sooner destroy it than sell it for a ton of gold."

*stops to reconsider*

*looks around, before continuing*

"Now I figure, if we can move a couple more rocks and get at that loot, let's do it. If you or Barrin think it's gonna take a team of skeletons to get it done, then we move back to the caves and make sure that necromancer don't finish the opening. I think it's safe to say that he was still trying to get at the citadel. I mean we just broke some more of his 'helpers' as they were digging.
Heck, he'll probably come lookin' for us once he figures out his digging crew is kaput."

*looks around, waiting for opinions*

-------------------------

"I don like enemies at me back, dead or otherwise. That dead lover needs ta go, I be thinkin, 'for we go chasin afta treasure that may or may not be there."

--------------------------

Grumni's eyes almost seem to sparkle at the mention of lost dwarven treasure and he stared a moment at the rubble blocking their path.

"The thought of abandoning the treasures of our forefathers doesn't seem right but we've a job to do that's only half done." He kicked at a small brick half-heartedly.

His mind made up he turned sharply away from the rubble and set his gaze in the necromancer's direction.

"Sooner we get rid of this freak the sooner we can be making off with some loot, best get ready lads."

-----------------------------

"Perhaps ... just maybe ... what we need to finish our job here lies on the other side of that rubble ..."

"Well, any rate, we know where it is and I suppose it isn't going to be going anywhere soon."

The hob tossed a small handful of trail mix into the air and deftly caught it all in his mouth, slowly chomping on the dried fruits and nuts and granola as he contemplated the excavation of the tunnel.

------------------------------

*Rand sighs as he looks at the rocks blocking the hallway*

"Someday, I'll be back to see what's down there.", he says to no one in particular.

*turning back towards the halls with paintings of undead killing people*

"Tarlech is not gonna survive the next time I lay eyes on him."

*with a determeined step, Rand sets off down the long hall back to the goddess' halls*

---------------------

Eli nodded in agreement with the comments of the others about finishing the task at hand.

"We have a goal and its nearly in sight, let's focus on that. There'll be time enough later to go digging."

The other problems of the area crossed his mind.

"You know, this whole area has so many problems to attend to, we'll be lucky to finished our tasks here sometime next year!"

----------------------

*Rand laughs heartily*

A year you say? It seems like barely a month ago I was in a caravan heading for Kendall Keep. Hunting frogs in the swamp a day or two after that.

I think we'll be done with the caves in a day or three.

*looks down the long hall leading back*

It's the 'goddess' that has me a bit worried though.

-------------------------

After examining the tunnel work done thus far, the dwarves estimate, with proper tools and wood to shore the sides and roof, the party would probably be able to clear 5 or so feet of the passage per hour of hard work. Each 10-foot section of tunnel would require two side and one ceiling brace, each at least 1 foot thick. If the tunnel were 10 feet wide and 10 feet high, each brace would use 30 feet of bracing material. Each shoring brace would require four hours to build. It would take about an hour per bracing to find, fell, prepare and transport suitable trees from the woods found in the valley. In short, you'd be able to progress about 10' per seven hours, when shoring and transport are factored in. You could work two shifts a day, progressing 20', but would need to spend the rest of the time recovering, eating, etc. You could opt for narrower dimensions, 5x10, and improve your distance to 30'. Of course, you've no idea how far you'd have to tunnel to reach the fortress - assuming the tunnel's headed in the right direction in the first place.

-------------------------

The "Pig Master" soon to be "Wolf Master" ignored Rolo's question. Bulette was it? True it was a burrowing creature but it was not the type friendly to gnomes at least not by any known gnomish records assuming the legendary creature indeed existed in the first place.

Now things were back to normal in a way. Oz came back from his nocturnal hunt and our weakest adventurer managed to trade coins for some lighter valuables.

Still Oz could be a problem in heavily populated area with farm animals running around freely. Soon perhaps it would be time to release him and find a more gentle creature. Badgers, skunks or hedgehog possibly...

-----------------------------

The man listens to the others, still unsure of where to go from there. It is evident they do have a task, but had being walking in circles for a while, no one dares to accept they are lost, or is it only him who feel like that?

Alright, I agreed with have others matters to attend, but I think we have one more pressing, over the rest we can see here, and that is where are we heading? I know we are looking for this guy, or what ever he is, but so far we are sort of walking in circles, unsure which direction to take.

The priest looks around and takes a deep sigh before proceeding.

What is the plan, keep walking until we stumble with our goal, or does anybody here have an idea where to go? If we know where to go then we can skip the distractions we find on the way to focus our strength and will on a single path.

Now, the priest shrugs, still confused.

------------------------------------

Rolo stopped munching on his trail mix and contemplated the quiet priest's words for a moment before slowly finishing his mouthful and swallowing. He took a deep pull from his wineskin before returning it to his pack.

"Aye Ute, we have a goal ... to rid this place of that Necromancer. Now then, as for a plan, admittedly we are sort of "winging it" as we do not know the layout of this place or where our foe lies."

"I know there is a secret door in that room where we encountered him one time -- but thus far, we have been unable to find a key to open it and it seems to be beyond my skills. The key seems to be in the form of a small battle axe, and I have been keeping my eye open for one, but have not yet seen anything that will work. I suppose we could focus on finding that key -- but again, we have no idea of where to look for it other than hoping we encounter a creature that is in possession of one."

"That 'goddess' that keeps popping up now and again isn't something we can completely ignore either; however, thus far she seems to have the upper hand ... at least for the moment."

"Now then, perhaps you have an idea that you are willing to share with the group? Every idea has merit and I'd be most interested in hearing yours."

--------------------------------
Grumni raised a bushy eyebrow.

"Our purpose is clear lad. we've got ter send that necromancer ter the bowels of hell. He's a slippery devil though and we have ter chase him when the chance arises even if it means going in circles."

The dwarf scratched his beard and took a swig from a small silver flask.

"It'd be good ter have a plan but I can't think of anything."

===========================

After searching thru various crypts again, the party has explored a bit around the back door entrance to the temple complex and found a path leading thru the trees back towards the main road. Scene opens on the party walking cautiously along this path.

------------------------------

Grumni looked skywards nervously for any sign of the dragon. A terrible thought occurred to him and the colour drained from his face.

"What if that lass we were travelling with never ran away in the night? Could be that dragon stole her away ter enact some terrible vengence."

The dwarf quickly retrieved his silver flask and took a long swig.

"Them dragons are patient devils, maybe he's took his time and now its us he's after." He continued, looking towards Rand.

"I'm thinking we're awfully open to attack strolling along like this."

-------------------------------

Damned dragons, I'm carrying enough gold for him to smell me out of a pig farm.

*looks nervously skyward*

Do you see it anywhere?

----------------------------

"I'm thinking it is those kobolds that have to do the worrying. They were the ones that had the egg in the first place; surely a dragon would not entrust her egg to a group of kobolds, do you think?"

"I figure the kobolds took the egg from the dragon and she has tracked them back to their cave. That means she will be sniffing around in that valley while we are on this side of the ridge."

"But, perhaps we could pick the pace up a bit ... just to be on the safe side? And try not to make too much noise ..."

---------------------------

*clunks along with his 12 bags of gold, heavy armor and multiple metal weapons strapped to him*

Um....

-------------------------------

Grumni trudged along muttering under his breath.

"Dumb Kobalds and their stupid eggs, it was probably rotten anyway."

--------------------------

The gnome was starting to really dislike this strange place. Ants, ants ants more ants. Secret doors without keys not to mention that big Throne with some Evil aura. Dig through the mountain? Could they really do that. And now what? A dragon flying above their heads?

"We are not going to last long without food and water. So what can we do now?"

-----------------------

Rand does his best to get back to the keep.

-------------------------

"Spring, you really have to come better prepared next time. These borderlands are not the place to be running short of supplies," said Eli.

---------------------------

Grumni contined his march occasionally looking skyward for signs of the dreaded dragon and muttering curses.

"Alright lads, if yer fixed on not digging the tunnel I'm thinking we're in need of better equipment ter take on monsters like them golems and fer that we'll need more coin." The dwarf's tone hinted at frustration.

He paused a moment to consider the options.

"I don't like leaving that necromancer ter regroup but the wandering tower sounds our best bet fer finding treasure ter me."

----------------------------

The hob padded along with the group, one hand tossing bits of trail mix into his mouth at regular intervals.

"hmm ... I'm not at all certain that tower is going to be any less difficult -- I mean what sort of magic is at play that can hide an entire tower?"

"I know some of you have explored more of those caves back in the valley ... but have you gone into all of them? These caves are all tied in with this necromancer in some manner -- supplying his army with dead if nothing else. I'm just thinking perhaps we need to revisit each of those caves in turn to see if we've missed anything -- or at least check out the ones we haven't been in yet ... assuming that dragon isn't back there waiting for us."

--------------------------------

The man hears the opinion of the others, unsure about what to do next, they had being walking in circles for some time now, and it seems to be useless, immerse in a repetitive task that is taking nowhere. If he rest of the group decides to go back to the caves he will follow, but not too much to his satisfaction.

We have being on most caves, and even though you might be right and we misses something, so far we are walking in circles. There is a possibility that keeping the same route can take us to our destination, but the same time could be a distracter, and we are wasting valuable time here.

Glancing at Grunni and shrugs.

I am with you Grunni, perhaps it is time to change the strategy or the focus and try this tower. I don’t know. What kind of dangers we can find, who knows, but we are here to do something despite the danger, or else if we seek for secure port we could go back to the shelter of the village. Let’s go for this.

The big man stands and readies to march, either to the caves or searching for this so called tower, though he is not facing the cave’s direction.

------------------------------

Grumni looked puzzled a moment.

"I think of been walking in this sun fer too long, they was hobgoblin zombies not golems." He saind with a grin."

He took a long thoughtful look back the way they come.

"I'm not sure if we've been in all of the caves, I know we haven't gone any further in the opposite direction from the keep, might be there's some more that way instead."

He took a quick look into his pack, checking his stock of supplies.

"I've still got some food I could pass round if one or two of yer need it and some healing supplies too so there's nothing ter pull me back to the keep and I can manage not visiting a tavern a little while longer." He grinned. "Depends on how sure Rand is of finding this tower I guess."

------------------------

The tower is there. You just have to wait for it. When the moon is high in the sky, it appears.
And I also have some extra trail bread, if any of you are hungry. *looks at Spring*
As far as visiting the keep, it's where I'm going. I'm carrying enough gold and weapons to start an army. I have no intention of fighting anything, other than what gets between me and the Keep.
*trudges along wearily, sacks jingling with coin and looted equipement jangling*
I can meet any of you that are in a hurry to explore the tower, at the tower.

-------------------------

"Aye, provisions is good. I'm thinking the keep first, and then to the tower; if that is the group's plan."

===================

The party is in a large cavern under the wary eye of a dozen or so men, and a few women, in light armor discussing the possibility of contracting some of them for help in digging out the tunnel to the lost dwarven fortress. After a few tense minutes, another dozen or so men and women appear from several passages. One steps forward, dressed a little better,and a little cleaner, than the rest.

So, I understand you are looking for some help with some digging? Perhaps we can come to some arrangement?

------------------------

Grumni watched the growing group of men and women closely, he didn't like the look or the smell of them. None of them looked to have the hands of men who'd spent time at the coal face to him. He tightened his grip on his mace and prepared to charge at the first sign of trouble.

-------------------------

The Dwarf trudged through the caves, muttering under his breath. "Fine time ta get separated, Barrin. Good thing that Dragon donna seem ta like Dwarven meat, or ye'd be dinner likely." He shook his head and looked around, stopping as he though he smelled unwashed humans. "Eh? Bandits be about?" He slowed and drew his bow, knocking an arrow and tried to walk as quietly as a Dwarf laden in heavy armor could, which wasn't very quiet. He finally came upon the party behind the rather large group of men and women in front of them. He looked around and saw Grumni hefting his mace. He tried to catch the other Dwarf's eye to let him know he was there and ready to fight if needed.

-------------------------

Rand keeps his back to his companions as more 'vagabonds' enter the room.

"Listen, I'm tired of talking to some ruffian who thought twice about taking my gold. If your in charge here, then say it so none can deny it."

*looks at the well dressed man who recently arrived*

--------------------

The man smiles.

We all have a say in our community, but I serve as a leader of sorts. So, what sorta work you offering and at what rates?

-------------------------

The hob does his best to make himself small and imperceptible -- slowly making his way into the closest shadows, all the while keeping his eyes and ears open for the first sign of trouble.

-----------------------

Grumni spotted the return of Barrin and grinned, the bandit scum were going to get more than they bargained for. He watched the smiling man with distrust, whatever he had to say the dwarf doubted it would be sincere. No matter, he'd made himself the prime target for Grumni's mace. That would wipe the smile from his face. The others seemed intent on seeing this game of cat and mouse through to the end so he held his tongue and tried to see what else was going on behind the potential bandit's spokesman.

---------------------

"Well, for starters we're looking for a mage that goes by the name of Tarlech. We have unfinished business with him and would prefer if we don't have to ask twice about him."

*crosses his arms on his chest, looking very serious about not wanting to go into details*

------------------

At the mention of Tarlech's name, some of the bandits noticeably tense. None of the those present resemble the necromancer.

Tarlech? Um, we know of'em. What sorta business you have with him exactly?

------------------

"We borrowed his books not too long ago, and want to return them to him.

Seen him around lately?"

*bluffs*

-------------------

Books, eh? Welp, you may have to hang on to them for awhile; haven't seen him around for a week or more now - wouldn't you say?

Turns and looks around to some of the others, who nod in assent.

But I thought you wanted to hire some diggers?

puzzled look

------------------------

Grumni raised an eyebrow at their admission to knowing Tarlech. Surely they would be walking dead by now if they had crossed paths with that one. This situation stank worse than a goblin's armpit and the dwarf would be damned if he was going to spend much longer sniffing it.

--------------------------

Barrin watched the humans tense at the necromancer's name. Och. I be thinkin these raggedy 'umans be more than what they be saying they be, he thought to himself. Judging the distance between him an the nearest human, he sheathed his bow and unslung his ax, watching Grumni to see if the later was preparing to attack.

--------------------------

The party of joyful adventures was now in a cave or shall we say yet another cave talking to a group of people about "things" so to speak.

Little Pumpkin had to move slightly to the left (anticipating what could be serious trouble) under the protection of the mini wolf pack. He also had under his coat a small bag of gnomish sand the type that could presumably be used to put anyone to sleep would things turn ugly shall we say.

He was thinking that he should take the time to complete a bestiary of the area that perhaps could be sold. For instance under the letter "B" he should add Bugbears right after Bulette and so on. Also he was thinking about how difficult his life was sometimes. The "biz-ness" (gnomish slang for occupation) of keeping everything well balance was not an easy task. Trying to convince a group of monks that trees should not be planted in perfect lines but instead things should grow by themselves at their own pace was a near impossible task...

------------------------

Hearing weapons banging around behind him, Rand gets the feeling this conversation is going South. And quick.

"Listen, I don't want no diggers from the likes of you. I don't think any of ye can dig your way out of a mud hole."

*spits on the ground between the fancy dressed man and himself*

----------------------

The priest listen the conversation, not too sure about the idea of hiring men to do the digging, not because he wants to do it, he doesn’t, but because he doesn’t trust these buggers, they not only smell bad, they do look bad. However, if that is the decision of the group he will go along… of course, at the minor suspicious gladly will stab one or two of them, in the end they could all fight.

Raising his eyebrow glances towards Rand as he speak about that mage, until now the priest is unsure of what is this group business with such man, even more, who is this man. No matter, he is ready to aid them, assuming it is a good deed. What doesn’t see like a good deed is this bunch of tugs, which apparently tensed with the mere name of Tarlec. Was that the name? In any case, as mirror to the thugs his hand grips the hilt of his scimitar, ready to what ever might come, the same time that noticing that the missing dwarf is back. Oh yes, now they are all there.

----------------------

So that’s it, the end of the conversation. No matter where it takes, he readies to fight, glancing around to count the numbers of the thugs, but still with his weapon sheathed.

-----------------------------

At this point, there are well over two dozen folks in assorted armor and with various weapons deployed in a half crescent before the party. A number of archers are spread out in the rear with those armed with melee weapons deployed protectively ahead of them. At least a couple of men wear some sorta holy symbols rather prominently displayed.

------------------------

Noting the prominent display of the religious symbols, the hob tries to determine which deity these "wanderers" are paying homage to.

------------------------------

The hobbit does not recognize the symbols, but the designs don't look too benign.

--------------------------------

Grumni spat. It didn't take much to guess the holy symbols were going to mean trouble. The archers were the final straw, this was going to end in a scrap alright. The dwarf whispered a prayer to Moradin and prepared to attack.

---------------------------

Eli uttered some words of warning.

"Beware of strangers bearing gifts and that applies to them as well as us."

---------------------------

*chuckles aloud before addressing the 'fancy' man*

"If you think we brought gifts, then you must be a smith.
'Cause all I brought

was

cold....

hard....

steel."

------------------------

"I'd be telling yer fool archers ter be putting away their bows if yer know what's good fer yer. I'm thinking me mace could cave in that head of your's before they could twang their first arrow. Them heathens can shove their holy symbols where they can't be seen too." Grumni spat.

-------------------------------

This is not a so unexpected turn of events, the archers there are sort of confirmation of their suspicious, no more remorse, if ever was some. The man grabs his shield though don’t raise it high, just to waist level, blade still on its sheath, keeping close eye to the surroundings, making mental notes of the number they are about to face, if trouble really arise. And for the first time he speaks to the men standing in front of them.

Well, this doesn’t look good, there is one possible lecture about this, and I suggest you tell your men to lower down their bows, or things will get ugly. There is no need about this, unless it is what you want.

-------------------------

"The Pumpkin" was a bit confused. Where did my wisdom go? Shouldn't I be able to tell a bandit from a mercenary?

The wolves started to growl as if they already had the answer.

"Sorry to interrupt but I was just thinking... Should I write down 'Bandits' before 'Bulette' and 'Bugbear'?"

======================

The party is at breakfast at the One -Eyed Cat Tavern after a good nite's rest.

--------------------

Grumni scratched absentmindly at his chin, the first hint of whiskers had already begun to appear on the bald patches caused by the errant fireball. He looked down at the unbroken shell of his boiled egg.

"Another few inches and I'd be looking like that!"

He laughed rueflly.

------------------------

Barrin snorted and rubbed his bald head. "I already look 'nough like that, I donna be needed me chin ta be lookin the same." He glared at the egg before returning to his meal.

-----------------------

Rand rubs his whiskers with a grin.

"You two are just a little over eager it seems to me. I didn't get a lick of flame on my skin."

Looks smugly at the two dwarves as he chugs down yet another ale.

----------------------

"Pah!" The dwarf replied. "If yer didn't get singed then I'm thinking yer were too far away from the action."

------------------------

"True, Grumni, very true. I was caught off-guard by the first one, but managed to fair better the second time -- mostly on account of you and Barrin holding the front lines."

"Eli's spells have certainly improved -- no doubt about that -- but, I agree a bit of moderation may be prudent -- those blasts of fires can be just as deadly to friends as foes!"

We'll have to come up with a workable plan; but I think it best not to blast in the midst of friends ... at least while they are holding their own."

------------------------

"Hey now, don't be calling me out. I was protecting the fair lady, just so happens she walks slower than most of ya. Besides, ever since Rynn ran off in the middle of the night. I ain't had no womenfolk to talk to. I think you guys are scaring them off."

-------------------------

"Perhaps after breakfast, we can return to the caves? There's a lot of work ahead of us."

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Karvon
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Re: Online Roleplay Thread

Post by Karvon » Thu Feb 17, 2011 6:41 pm

Having slaughtered a cavern full of bugbears, the party is licking it's wounds after triggering an electrical trap.

---------------

Looking around at his companions, Rand tries a joke to lighten the somber mood after the bugbears were laid low.

"Caves of Chaos, these caves are going to be empty when we get done with them."

He laughs, a bit forced. At least it doesn't sound so quiet in the cavern tunnel.

-------------------

Grumni waded through the piled heaps of monsterous bodies. Truly his mace had been busy. Clambering over the last of the corpses he grinned.

"Damn fools won't be jibbering any more nonsense!" He proclaimed proudly.

He was quite the sight. His armour was sprayed with gore, his boots squelched with blood and what appeared to be an eyeball dangled from his shield as if surveying the room. In addition his hair stuck out from under his helmet in a static fuzz. A slight burning scent hung in the air.

"Bah! Me beard's only just started ter grow back and that infernal electrics singed me whiskers."

-------------------

"Damnation! The traps and locks and such that are in these caves are completely different from anything I've ever seen before!"

The hob frowns as he inspects his fingers which are still numbed from the trap.

"I'll try and be more careful, but can make no promises."

------------------

"Be careful Rolo, triggering one too many of those traps and you may never trigger another!" said Eli

---------------

Rolo chuckled at Eli's comment ... "True enough. Seems that one of us will likely be the death of all of us, eh Eli?"

==================

The party has rested up and resupplied at the Keep and making plans for their next move.

--------------------

"Tower or find those other secret doors? I suppose we could start digging, if anybody feels like doing that kind of work."
*looks at Grumni*

"The gold is coming pretty steady, the idea of digging in the dirt doesn't really appeal to me right now."

-----------------------

The hob is proudly wearing his new cloak and seems unable to suppress a grin.

"Well, I'm thinking we should wrap up our business with this Necromancer -- or at least confirm he has left the area. I know searching through all these caves is slow going, but we can probably skip the caves that are lairs for other creatures; I don't think he would be hiding amongst them. In fact I get the feeling they want him dead as much as we do."

"Oh, and if Mendle isn't pulling my leg, those darn blood sucking, strength sapping birds ain't going to be bothering me no more. He claims this cloak will protect me from those nasty effects -- I'm hoping he is right."

--------------------------

Grumni shrugged thoughtfully.

"Seems Rand's been wanting ter tackle the tower ever since the penny pincher told us about it. Perhaps its time ter take a look but if it ain't there I'll not be hanging around out in the open on the top of yonder hill. Not while that dragon's still a possible threat, that's a sure fire way ter end up dead."

-------------------------------

*Rand looks closely at Rolo's new cloak*

"If this does work, let me know, I hate them damned birds. Mini-vampires is more like it.

I'm with Grumni. If we get there and the tower is playing hard to get, I ain't sticking around sharpening my sword waiting for it."

---------------------------------

Eli pondered what the others had said. "I understand your feelings but I would like to know how this Tower keeps disappearing and why. Whatever the reason, there can be no doubt that powerful magic lies behind the effect. Powerful magic means powerful mages and we already know what one of those can do."

=======================

The party entered the mists passing thru the illusionary tower and found themselves transported the grounds of an ancient tower surrounded by a forcefield. After exploring the grounds, the party has ventured into the caverns and crypts below, and have just descended a long winding staircase leading deeper beneath the tower.

--------------------------

Grumni huffed and puffed as he ran to catch up with the rest of the group.

"Me legs are too short fer this." He grumbled between gasps of air.

-------------------------

Rand waits at the bottom of the stairs, looking at the door awaiting them.

"I'm starting to wonder if the man on the roof is a prisoner, more than an inhabitant. That crackling blue energy seemed to keep him from coming out to greet us. And I do think he wants to greet us. When we finally come face to face, I'm not giving him a chance to try and talk."

Looks at Rolo, Eli and Grumni.

----------------------------

"eh, why's that Rand? You thinking he may be a prisoner ... then why not let him talk if he wants to? Or do you think he might me a mage and will attempt to use sorcery on us? Perhaps Eli here can do something about that ...?"

"I certainly don't have any qualms about fighting things that attack me -- but to initiate an unprovoked attack on another who may be a victim of circumstances ... not certain that I want to do that ... seem rather ruthless." A slight frown crosses the hob's lips.

"I'll leave the decision to you though; however, just think we may want to actually find this fellow or learn more about him and this tower before we make any hard decisions on how to deal with him -- unless you know something that I don't?"

--------------------------------

"I think that prisoners get what they deserve. That ..... ghost didn't look friendly in the least.
I'm just thinking that if we open that door and can't control that thing. We may have loosed a worse blight on the lands than the dead cultist's and bandits were combined."

"I'm not saying we should turn around, I just want you all to know that I'm not getting happy thoughts of this place. Meaning, I'm not waiting to be attacked if I see something that may try to kill me, or worse. And that includes the guy on the roof."

*eyes the door, not really looking at the others at this point*

------------------------------

Having finally caught up Grumni leaned against the wall wheezing.

"Seems ter me we don't know enough about the strange business ter be letting folks ot of magical prisons on a whim." The dwarf said between gulps of air. He wiped the sweat from his brow before continuing.

"He could be that God, Meekler or whatevr it was them statues were on about fer all we know. Have we seen everywhere else there is down 'ere yet?"

----------------------------------

"I understand your concerns and I agree, we should proceed cautiously. But first things first. We have to find out what is causing that energy field to exist in the first place and why this Tower appears and disappears as it does before we go and tamper with it," said Eli

-----------------------------

The dwarf looked thoughtful.

"Fair enough. I ain't seen any of the treasure that penny-pincher was going on about though. I'm thinking we've been sent on a fool's errand here and I don't like being anyone's fool."

--------------------------

Rolo chuckled at Grumni's comment. "Aye Master Grumni -- to be fair though, I believe Mendle indicated the books were perhaps 'inside' the tower -- and we haven't gotten in yet."

"So, you're thinking this whole tower may be a prison of some sort? Gosh, hadn't really considered that. If so, then you are likely correct, we don't want to be letting things out that were put here for a reason."

=========================

The party has looted the wizard's tower and stopped for a short rest on the way back out after fending off some rust monsters.

----------------------------

The hob stopped for a moment, considering the path through the pits that lie ahead. "Erm ... can we take a moment to consider our options?"

"We know that we are inside that tower that we had seen -- and it seems we've uncovered a fair amount of loot. But, I am certain we have not uncovered all of its secrets."

"We have seen what, four levels of this tower? I think we've pretty much covered the bottom portion, but what of the rest of it? We know there is a roof -- Rand saw a person on it. Somehow the bottom has to be connected to the top -- and we have not discovered that connection."

"There are two more of those dimensional doors above as well -- We've really only tested one of the three; the one on the North wall that sends us back to the bottom -- perhaps we should check the two on the East wall as well?"

"So, I'm thinking seeings as we are here now, we might want to give this tower one finally "look-over'. I know that once I head down that pit filled corridor, I don't think I'll want to return -- if we even get the opportunity."

"I'm sort of wishing we had asked those lasses a few relevant questions -- they may have been able to provide more help that this cloak."

---------------------

"That's a good idea Rolo, there is probably something we've missed," said Eli.

----------------------

"I'm thinking there's a door we missed back before those stinky pits and we'll come across it again shortly." The dwarf replied crestfallen at the thought of traversing the the traps ahead.

"It's alright for you humans and our resident trap expert hobbit, me legs are too short and me armour's too heavy fer me ter jump out of 'em."

------------------------

"Aye Grumni -- I don't care much for those pits either -- which is why I don't want to go through that corridor any more often than I have to. Seeings we are on this side of them now, I'd like to take one last look-see before we leave."

"In particular I am more and more curious about where those other two doors lead. The one with the elementals was probably a "cage" ... but the one in the middle of the east wall -- can't help but wonder if it leads up? ... or to the Abyss, heh"

-------------------------------

Rand sits on the floor as the others discuss options. He just stares at the floor, lost in thought, catching his breath.

Grumni raised an eyebrow.

"I ain't in any rush ter jump into the abyss Rolo." The dwarf replied. "Perhaps Eli could get his familiar ter fly through and see what's on t'other side?"

----------------------------------

"Ha, ha! That is an excellent idea Grumni -- and if it is the abyss, ole "Furball" will seem right at home!"

"What do you think Eli? Can you do it? Will you do it? Or perhaps you have another idea?"

-------------------------------

Rand is oddly silent, perhaps contemplating carrying over a hundred pounds of loot back to the Keep. Or maybe he just fell asleep where he sits. Either way, he's not moving or talking.

-------------------------

"Sounds good to me but I don't know how Furball will react. He might have other ideas!" said Eli

----------------------------

*snores, softly*

===========================

Rolo pulls out the four books of the mad mage's notes on Forcefields, Dimensional Travel, and Permanency of Magic and shows them to D'Amberville.

"I'm thinking you may be interested in these writings concerning magical things. I'm sure they are quite useful and perhaps somewhat valuable to the right person? I'm thinking of showing them to Mendle as well ... he indicated he had some clients who were interested in some old books that supposedly were in that tower ... but, I'm thinking the books he was referring to were some of those in Eli's pile."

"So, are you interested? If so, what do you think you can offer?" The hob smiles his best smile.

----------------------------

"I've quite the collection as well, sixteen books I believe," said Eli. "Between us we're carrying an entire wizard's library, that's surely worth a great deal!"

--------------------------

Grumni rummaged in his pack and produced a crown. He rubbed off the dust and cobwebs with his sleeve revealing a glistening metal beneath. The light from the window caught the gems mounted upon it and gleamed. The dwarf took a moment to admire the craftsmanship.

"I found this crown down there too. Looks fancy, I'm thinking its got some sort of inscription on the inside. Can yer tell us anything about it?"

D'Amberville looks over the books with obvious interest.

Fascinating! You say you got these from that legendary tower? Guess it wasn't just a myth after all. I'll need a few hours, at least, to scan through these tomes, before I can give you a fair estimate of their value to me. If you're willing to leave them with me for the evening, I can give you a price in the morning.

He examines the crown with less interest.

It doesn't seem to have any enchantments at first glance. I'm not a jeweler, so can't speak to the quality of the craftsmanship nor the materials. For a fee, I could cast some spells to perhaps find out more about it.

----------------------

"I suppose that seems fair enough. What do you think Eli? You know more about this stuff than I."

"As for that crown Grumni, perhaps the folks at the castle would know more about it ... do you think?"

"We probably should go make a report anyways; easy enough to ask then."

==========================

The hob fidgeted nervously as he waited for his comrades at the main gate. He kept checking and rechecking his supplies and a few minutes later he would check again.

He pulled out his short sword; inspecting its blade. A quality weapon, magical even; but would it be enough to pierce a dragon's hide? And would he be able to get close enough to even use it? A frown crossed his lips at that thought.

He glanced at the tall mage standing nearby. "Eli, do you think Rand and Grumni can really be serious about this? Actually "hunting" a dragon? Do you think we would even have a chance if we were to find it?"

"If we had that darned egg we might have a tool for negotiations -- but, alas, it seems to have disappeared along with the lass that was packing it ,,, Rynn I believe was her name. I can't help but wonder if her disappearance with the egg and the dragons arrival aren't connected in some fashion."

"And what were the kobolds doing with it in the first place?"

"Bah -- it seems I arrived just a bit late -- so many unanswered questions ..."

-------------------

Grumni considered the small but battle-hardened group's chances. The road to their next great adventure stood before them and the challenge was greater than any they had faced before.

As much as he trusted the talents of his companions he could not help but wish Barrin and the others who had fought beside them in the past were still with there.

"I'm thinking we should try ter set up some sort of ambush ter take down this dragon. If we go running in through the front door we'll be be dead in the blink of an eye lads. I dont want ter end up a dragon's dinner." declared the dwarf.

He took a deep breath, hoisted his well stocked pack over his shoulder and signalled for the guards to open the gates.

---------------------

"Ambush ... tactics ... yes, that would improve our chances Grumni. I've managed to construct several trap kits from those skeleton knuckle bones we've collected ... wishing I had another pouch full of em to make stronger traps."

"If we could find the thing unawares, I might be able to set something up; but dragons aren't stupid and I hear they have very keen senses ..."

------------------

Putting traps out for a dragon sounds ridiculous. The thing will probably be flying the whole time.
We should tread lightly and carry a lot of arrows, in my opinion.

--------------------

The Dwarf frowned.

"They'll have ter be damned big arrows ter get through its scaly hide."

---------------------

The hob rubbed his chin in thought, "hmmm ... point taken; but, they often fight from the ground do they not? Unless, of course they are fighting another flying creature."

"I also hear that they can terrify a person to such an extent that they are completely senseless...."

Rolo chuckles ... "What am I babling about? There is no way we could ever hope to fight a dragon and win. We need a better plan for dealing with this situation once we figure out where this dragon is ... if we figure out where this dragon is."

-------------------

*looks skyward*

"We're gonna need bigger arrows."
*scratches his chin*

"Do you think we can buy a ballistae from the Keep?"

--------------------

"A ballista? And who is going to pack this thing? And I'm guessing you'll get one shot with the thing before the dragon is upon us -- you think you can kill it?"

"Ha, ha! All we are going to do with a ballista is piss the thing off! Wands of fireballs, maybe; a ballista, out of the question I think."

"How about we go back to those kobolds and see if they know anything about this dragon?"

=======================

We'll assume the priest and mage have joined up with you on the path leading out of the glade in the forest.

Eli discovered the following tidbits in his research in D'Amberville's library back at the keep.

* The Keep was founded about 30 years ago.

* Caves of Chaos were first aggressively investigated and cleared out about 20 years ago.

* The lord of the keep and most of his troops and retainers marched off to war in the east, never to return, about 15 years ago.

* No dragon sights are mentioned in keep records or adventurer reports since the founding of the keep.

* D'Amberville has a few notes from interviews with Brother Martin, who's met and spent some time with both the lizardfolk and the gnolls. Both told tales of forest dragons ravaging the region in the distant past.

-------------------------------

"Kobalds?" The dwarf responded. "They ain't likely ter want ter sit down fer a chat with us considering we gave their scaly hides a good kicking. Couldn't hurt ter try I suppose and if they ain't in the mind ter be talking we can beat some sense into 'em." He grinned.

"Maybe we can try ter trick the dragon somehow." Grumni looked skyward. "I'm not sure how we'd outsmart one of them cunning beasts though. Perhaps we should've stayed at the keep, it would b a lot easier ter fight the thing with some walls ter defend."

-------------------------------

Eli regarded the others. "All this talk about Dragons and no one is even sure what colour it is. I think the danger may be over estimated. My review of D'Amberville's library has the only reference to the creatures coming from Gnolls and Lizardfolk. Hardly first class witnesses!

I say we forge ahead and deal with the trouble if and when it arises."

-------------------------------

"Fair enough, we ain't going ter earn any coin wondering around worrying. I'm still interested in yonder collapsed tunnel, I've been carrying a shiny new pickaxe around fer weeks"

-------------------------------

Ugh, if digging is all we can find to do, than so be it. I'm not afraid to pick up a shovel and dig.

*stretches his arms and back*

=====================

The party has explored deeper into the heart of the Northern Forest and found a small game trail which seems to lead deeper yet into the woods.

------------------------

The hob stared at the large tracks near the stream and the small trail leading deeper into the woods.

"Eli, I may not be a Ranger, but these tracks are too big to be a bear and I'm thinking they look an awful lot like what a dragon would make."

"I'm also thinking that we are getting very close to any "trouble" you were waiting for ... so, what is our plan now?"

-----------------------

The dwarf merely shrugged. "Well I'm out of ideas lads, I guess we're going ter have ter chance our luck."

-------------------------

"Well, Grumni, luck may be all well and good; but I'd rather not depend on it."

"Eli, do you have any tricks up your sleeve?"

-----------------------

"Tricks?" he said with a note of disdain. "Hardly that! But should the need arise I'm sure we'll be able to best the creature. After all we've been through, we're hardly novices to a little strife."

--------------------------

"Right ...." the hob replied with a slight frown, "I wish I could share your optimism."

Rolo took one last inventory of the items in his pack; looking to see if there was anything there that may be of use in fighting a dragon that he may have overlooked or forgotten. Finding nothing that caught his eye, other than the trap kits of questionable usefulness, he closed up his pack and prepared to see where those tracks along the stream led ....

----------------------

Grumni scratched his beard.

"Might be worth trying ter take it on in its lair. At least at close quarters it can't be attacking us from above. That's not much comfort but its the best I can be offering."

The dwarf looked thoughtfully at the pickaxe sticking out his bag.

"If we find its lair perhaps we can dig in from above instead of going in through the frontdoor all polite. Or even better if we can find a cave nearby we could rig th'roof so it falls in on its ugly head"

--------------------

"Or perhaps just seal it in its lair if we could be so lucky as to find it in a cave?" the hob added hopefully.

-------------------

The darf grunted.

"Aye, that'd be second best. I suppose we could try ter tempt it ter land on that field where the land sharks are. Could be they'll start fighting each other. It'd be a bit of a job getting ter the field without being eaten mind."

-------------------------

"Lets just find it's lair. It'll find us eventually."

-----------------------

"Right, good point Rand. Well, let's see what we shall see; shall we?" Rolo chuckled as he shouldered his pack.

==========================================

The Castellian refers to a scroll as he relates the dragon's ultimatium.

First, the Northern Forest is the dragon's domain. No trespassers will be tolerated. The Keep is to publish this fact and strongly discourage those passing thru from venturing into said woods.

Second, adventurers from the keep recovered a green dragon egg stolen by kobalds. This egg is to be recovered and safely returned to the dragon within three moons.

Failure to comply with these demands will result in the dragon destroying all human, and related, outposts within a weeks travel of the Keep.

If these demands are met, the dragon will ignore the human outposts and activities south of the Northern Forest and hunt in those woods are areas to the north and west - away from inhabited regions.

Naturally, I had no choice but to agree to these demands, and assured the dragon we would see all would be met.

Thus we've bought some time, and a large number of the residents are fleeing to the east to settlements beyond the dragon's sphere of interest. I suspect, the news will travel quickly and caravans and the like will dry up and disappear till this is resolved. A few of the more optimistic will remain, as will a skeleton garrison and we community leaders.

As we believe your group is the one which was responsible for seizing the egg from the kobalds, and who's intrusion stirred the dragon to attack the keep, we are calling upon you to track down, recover and return this egg to the dragon before the three month deadline expires.

Our resident mage and priest will lend what aid they can in terms of divination and the like, but the fate of this region rests in your hands.

------------------------------------

"a-hem." Rolo made a small cough. "I want it known that I had nothing to do with this dragon egg -- it is only something that I have picked up in passing and pieced together from various overheard conversations."

"But, by all accounts the egg WAS recovered by a previous member of this group, a lass by the name of Rynn. She was known to have had the egg in her possession shortly before her disappearance as she had offered to sell it to that traveling merchant Sanner Goodman; but his offer wasn't good enough and it was decided to bring it back to the Keep and show it to Brother Martin as well as you, sir." Rolo looked at the Castellian.

"That is why I had originally thought it was given to you; however, as you told me last time, you had never even heard mention of this egg. I have since learned that the lass, Rynn, disappeared during the night, after speaking with the merchant Sanner, but before returning to the Keep. I can only assume the egg disappeared with her."

"I joined the group shortly after Rynn's mysterious disappearance. I believe that everyone simply assumed that Rynn had decided to seek adventure elsewhere and the significance of the dragon's egg was lost as the group was attempting to remove the Necromancer from the caves. Now, I'm not so sure that Rynn's disappearance isn't directly connected to that egg in some fashion."

"Other than the original group, the only other person who knew Rynn had the egg was Sanner. Of course the kobolds knew the group had taken it -- but they could not have known Rynn had it that night. And ... Sanner has moved on ... not long after that, I might add."

"I'm thinking we need to track down that merchant Sanner and see if he knows anymore about that egg and Rynn's disappearance."

"Oh, and another thought just occurred to me. There was a gnomish wizard, Frim Fram, that was also part of that group that disappeared shortly after that too -- we should see if we can track him down as well."

OOC: I hope I have not overstepped my bounds here; but as Rolo joined the group immediately following Rynn's disappearance -- I've assumed that he would have learned these details in the course of his early dealings with the group (Rand, Grumni, and Barrin were involved). Being somewhat quizzical by his nature, Rolo would obviously be fascinated with any tale of adventure concerning a dragon's egg and try to get what details he could.

------------------------------

Rand speaks up to the Castellan.
"I don't remember any egg. I do remember Rynn though. Cute girl, had a hankering for dwarves, for some reason.
She did disappear one night as we journeyed back from the caves.
Whether she had a dragon egg or not, she's probably long gone by now.
If Sanner had bought it from her, only the two of them would know for sure.

As far as fighting the dragon, .... *sighs* we stand no chance fighting it underwater in it's lair. If we can fight it anywhere else, we stand a small chance of victory. Very small chance. Even if there is only one, which I suspect is not the case, that one dragon is an adult and very capable of destoying a small place like Kendall Keep."

After saying what's on his mind, Rand settles back on his heels, awaiting a reaction.

=============================

The party has spoken to the priest, mage and Mendel, plus made an inquiry at the inn, regarding the missing Rynn and egg.

----------------------------------------
"Mary ... a common enough name, possibly an alias ... possibly not." Rolo struggled to contain his thoughts. "Bottom line, there is nothing here that will help D'Amberville, as it seems 'Mary' left nothing behind."

"I wonder though ... does anyone "know" where Rynn was staying? Perhaps one of the guilds? Or another Inn?"

"Perhaps we should speak with Wilf -- he has a pretty good ear and might be able to provide some insight into this matter."

---------------------------

Grumni scratched his beard.

"I've no idea. If she were heading off on her own she would've needed supplies. Could be she let something slip if she got ter chatting with the baker?"

--------------------------

"The baker! Of course! A nice apple tart would do wonders for solving this problem I think and Brother Martin hangs out there as well! Everything looks brighter with a full belly! What a wonderful idea Grumni!"

-----------------------------

*laughs at Rolo's comment*

Leave it to a Hin to think of a full belly with a dragon practically circling the Keep.
We are running out of ideas, so I hope the baker, or Martin, have some memory of the lass.

----------------------------

"Well now -- perhaps we are getting somewhere after all! It would seem that ALL clues are pointing south. And we know the lass Rynn left on her own accord; which narrows things down a bit I'm thinking."

"We still have our dinner with Mendel to attend to; and of course we mustn't forget the Priest is crafting up some scrolls for us -- have to think carefully about how to use those though -- no sense in learning something we already know. Heh"

"Ponies ... have always wanted to ride one of those ... they do make an awful lot of noise when they walk though."

"Well, I expect it is time to get cleaned up for dinner eh?"

------------------------------

Grumni snorted.

"I'm always ready fer dinner, I don't think that Mendel's too bothered about the look of his dinner gusts as log as they have coin ter spend."

He looked at his roughly scribbled notes ith a rueful expression.

"I would never have thought that lass would've done something ter land us in a mess like this. South has got ter be our heading lads, all that remains is ter get a bit of advice about what lies ahead."

-------------------------------

After speaking with Mendel about the Sea Lords to the south.

"I think we need to wait on those scrolls the priest in town is writing for us. We try and contact Rynn. If that fails, we head out through the swamps and try to get south in a hurry. Three moons may sound like a lot of time to find this blasted egg, but I say, let's get to going. Time's wasting. I'd hate to think we cleared out bandits, undead, bugbears, and cultists, just to let a damned dragon eat the fine people of Kendall Keep."

--------------------------

"hmmm ... not like Grumni to miss a free meal -- must be doing some heavy communing with Moradin I expect ...."

"Scrolls, yes, we will certainly want to collect those before we leave. I'm getting second thoughts about trying to contact the lass though ... seems she is acting on her own free will; and obviously she has no intention of "sharing" any profit that might be in it with either you or Grumni. It has been two months now, so she might be thinking that since you have not made any attempt to catch up with her by now, she is free and clear -- which would likely be to our advantage if we aim to intercept her."

"I'm wondering if those scrolls can be used to locate her without her being made aware of that fact -- just knowing "where" she is would be a huge help in formulating a plan. And of course it would be nice to know if she still possess the egg."

"If she stuck with the merchant caravan; and they typically take about two months to make the trip; Rynn and the egg are likely just arriving at their destination -- depending on whether a buyer has to be located or not will determine how much time we have before the egg changes hands. In any case, Rynn will have the answers."

"Agree that time is certainly a problem -- I think we should check once more with the Castelean and see if he knows a "fast" way to Southport -- we have access to much greater resources here in the Keep than we will on the road -- we should attempt to make the best use of them."

Rolo sighs. "Too bad we had to get off to such a rocky start with those dragons ... I'm thinking they might have been more useful to us as allies ... oh well." The hob shrugs.

------------------------

"Well it seems we have some options available to us -- and that is normally a good thing. D'Amberville can likely arrange for a telportation -- but the as yet undetermined cost will likely be very high. Brother Martin can arrange for travel via "dimension walking" -- but the payment would be in the form of an unspecified "favor". And of course we can risk traveling through the swamp."

"Perhaps we can check with the Castelean and see if the keep is willing and able to cover the expenses of the telportation? It would be the least risk and fastest I am thinking."

"If that falls through, then the dimension walking would probably be the next fastest although I would understand if the thought of an unspecified "obligation" is unacceptable to either of you."

"Any rate, we need to figure out how to best use those scrolls, the Priest is making and that would probably depend on what type of information D'Amberville is able to provide following his "mind probe" of Rand's memories and the follow on scrying to find the girl."

"Wow, this is so exciting!"

-------------------------

"I ain't liking this "favour" that Martyn kept mentioning. He mumbled something about some of his order being evil and that sort of business is against me holy principles." The dwarf repeated solemnly.

"Still, sounds like whatever wizard we got ter do the teleporting would be expecting some service in return and we all know what a bad bunch them wizards can be." He pondered.

"Then again the swamp's too slow and if we spook her with them scrolls she'll be off before we can get out of yonder bog and the Keep will be toast. Looks like we're going ter end up with a bitter pill ter swallow whatever we decide. I agree with Rolo, the teleporting would be me first choice and the planar travel second but I can understand Rand's worrying about the skills of them mages"

--------------------------

"I grow weary of all this talk of not contacting her."

Rand looks around.

"Yesterday it sounded like the best idea, now we want to sneak up on her. All I'm saying is she's a whole lot better at sneakin' around than I am. I'm .... pretty sure... she'll help us, if we ask."

----------------------------

Grumni shrugged. "Well... if yer sure that's good enough fer me"

-----------------------------

"Well ... if you really think so, Rand. I've never met the lass, so I am probably just assuming the worse."

"Right ... we'll go with your gut -- at least we will be working the problem."

"25 words ... what are you going to ask?"

=========================

After much deliberation, Rand and company have decided to use the monks planeswalking route to get to Freeport.

Hearing that Rynn is dead has Rand very suspicious of the merchants at Athos and Sons.

Having just stepped out into a foggy farmland, Rand decided to chat with the local farmer that happened to be staring at him as he walked towards Freeport. The farmer had no specifics about Athos and Sons, except to say they paid well for the animals he sold them.

After departing the farmer and continuing towards town, Rand comments to his companion.
"Grumni, I still don't think we can trust Athos, so keep your eyes open and your guard up. I don't think it'll go down quite like that ordeal in the bandit cave, but I'm ready for anything at this point."

--------------------------

All in all, a pleasant first day in town. Met a like minded adventurer, found an Inn to lay our heads at night, shopped some merchants and found the Adventurer's Hall. Other than the bad experience at the first tavern, a good day. Although, that man at the gate collecting the city tax, more like a fine for visiting. I hope the Adventurer Hall doesn't take long matching us up with a job.

--------------------------

Waiting patiently at the inn, hoping to hear some work needs doing. Not one to sit idly, Rand manages to go through a significant amount of beer.

----------------------------

Never being one to leave a friend to drink alone, Grumni joins Rand in drinking the town dry. The consequences are grim the following morning.

"Me head feels like its been stomped on by an ogre!" The dwarf said while nursing a nasty hangover. "Who'dve thought the swill they serve in this place would be so strong."

He gingerly ate a bacon sandwich. "I'm thinking we best find a job soon or we'll end up drunkards."

------------------------

Managing to bring a few bottles of spirits along for the boat ride to the crypt, Rand gladly shared it with his best buddy, Grumni.

Upon arrival, it was back to business as they headed towards the cemetary.

----------------------

The old soldier didn't stay long in Freeport. Soon enough he found himself with a band of adventurers, including not one but two dwarves. They to do some cleaning in an old graveyard but the thing was a bit far away do they had to use a ship. In that town, people did not like to hold onto gold, instead they would exchange them for "tokens" a bit like back home people trading large bag of gold for gems...

"I feel a bit rusty, I could use a drink. You seems quite able to handle a few walking corpses even the nasty poltergeists. I am impressed. I would go to war any day with people like you."

tampamac2002
Expert Poster
Posts: 192

Re: Online Roleplay Thread

Post by tampamac2002 » Fri Feb 25, 2011 10:25 am

Rand seems out of sorts. Keeping quietly to himself, he tries not to get caught looking at Grumni. He has a hard time meeting Grumni's gaze and covers it up by finding something to do or look at instead.

Rand remembers a vision of looking down upon himself, and he wasn't moving. This memory is replaced by awaking to find himself flat on his back, with Grumni kneeling very close over him. Grumni was very serious about something, and then he smiled. There was no doubt in Rand's mind, he had died. And Morradin's power, through Grumni's faith, had brought him back from the dead.

A lifetime of working the caravans across Greyhawk had prepared him for death, however, he had only supposed the stories were true. I mean, to actually bring a dead person back to life? Rand certainly had never thought that much about it. He had met many priests, had many talks about religion, but a few quick ales usually put those questions out of mind.

For once, Rand had to deal with his faith. A dwarven god had never even crossed his mind before. But now.....

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Re: Online Roleplay Thread

Post by Karvon » Sun Mar 06, 2011 3:23 pm

Grumni grinned with satisfaction as he looked around him. There was gold in his pack, he'd rid the world of many an undead ambomination that day and Moradin clearly seemed to be showing him favour.

He muttered a sacred phrase and cold flames sprang to life on the blade of his axe ready to begin the fight anew.

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Re: Online Roleplay Thread

Post by Karvon » Mon Mar 07, 2011 5:01 am

Solithar woke up. He did not remember where he was. He tried to focus on the recent events, his arrival in Freeport, his meeting with the adventurers, the boat trip and the crypt. Yet, he could not remember exactly what took place next. Apparently they were out somewhere safe. Then it all came back. There was a big cube, like the dice the soldiers would sometimes play with and one of the dwarf got caught in and probably suffocated. He would be buried now if the powers of the priest had not been enough to revive him. So that's how they got out...

"The three of us can make it" he said to his dwarven companions. "Let's go back and crack some skulls". and so they went back, a bit deeper in the crypt this time. To a place older by the look of the stones. They did not see undead there but some golemnites abominations. Giants made of metal or stone. Solithar had to run like a coward, fell unconscious once and was knocked down a couple of times by these things that Bellringer, the blessed hammer could not really harm...

At the most crucial moment reinforcement arrived and they somehow crushed the metal giants. It was time to return to the inn and celebrate.

That short trip was worth it, they had found plenty of gold, some trinkets, a fabulous armor, a chaos helm (perhaps a gift from the gods) and a couple of enchanted golden shields. Solithar claimed the helmet and got Rand's old armor. He told the others to use his share of gold to get supplies but still ended up somehow with a few bags of gold. His glass was empty, the wine was good but could not last all night.

"Time to get some rest. Come get my gold if you go to fetch supplies. I need nothing and I like my share to be used for food, bandages and things like that. Ah and tell the gnome I got four bags for him."

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Re: Online Roleplay Thread

Post by Karvon » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:10 am

Grumni took a seat by the inn hearth and belched contentedly. The move to the mercifully dragon-free South had been a fine decision. A grin spread across his face at the thought of the gold stashed in his pack and the thought of all the many wonderous things it could buy.

He looked down at his left boot where he could almost see through the worn leather to his big toe.

"Best replace them first" he muttered to himself. The dwarf raised his tankard in a salute to Moradin then drained it contents in one hefty gulp.

Rand looks at the smile on Grumni's face and can only imagine it has to do with an ale in front of him and gold in his pack.
Rands mood is sour though. He contemplates the reason the two of them came south. He doesn't like the idea of going to the trader's, but he knows he has to eventually.

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Re: Online Roleplay Thread

Post by Karvon » Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:45 pm

Unaware of Rand's expression Grumni contnued his drinking. Taking a small silver flask from his pack he sneakily poured a dash of a particularly strong batch of his family's secret recipe. Once again he raised his tankard to Moradin and swallowed a mighty gulp of the potent ale. A strangled gasp followed and eyes watered. He smiled, that year had indeed been a good vintage.

After a good night sleep Solithar ventured out looking for his companions eager to go back to the graveyard to see what else was there...

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Re: Online Roleplay Thread

Post by Karvon » Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:48 pm

After securing the crypt, the tired and battered party spends a few hours in resting and meditation. The hidden grate discovered is examined and seems to be a deep shaft leading to who knows where.

"Whoever did build this place was quite clever" said the old warrior after catching his breath. "The magical missiles are there to slow down or push back any force trying to venture in that room. I suspected that a passage could be hidden nearby so I went in dodging the missiles the best I could. And there it was on the wall. If that was not enough there was that light creature on the other side that almost killed. The thing was protecting another secret passage..."

It was time to rest and prepare to look even deeper in the crypt.

Rand makes a general observation about the changes in the crypt.
"I sure hope we don't have to fight too many more of these mercs on the way out. I'm pretty sure there won't be any ahead of us. Coming back out may be a different story though."

Grumni's expression darkened.

"This mask must be pretty valuable if folks are sending mercenaries after it. Lots of 'em too. Looks like the guild are contracting this job out ter more than just us." He stuffed a chunk of trailbread into his mouth.

Rand sits on the chiseled floor, keeping an eye back they way they came from, as well as a quick glance every now and then to the shaft newly discovered.

"Aye, they don't trust us. Or there are more adventures guilds that we don't know about.

No matter. Once we get that mask, any that stand in the way will be staying at their new home." Rand gestures at the surrounding crypt.

"Only they won't be in a box. They'll be laying in the middle of the floor."

With that, Rand pulls out a pair of pliers and starts straitening out a dent in his armor, while he's wearing it.

Garmalkin: "Mercs? This is murky business. There must be... some reason they all want this mask.

Hopefully our employers don't have unsavory intentions."

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